Whether you’re a parent preparing a meal for your hungry family or a four-star chef with a full reservation book, safety in the kitchen is essential. When it comes to home and nonresidential fires, the U.S. Fire Administration found that the most common cause stems from cooking gone wrong. One mistake and hot oils can become a fire that is both easy to spread and difficult to extinguish, possibly leaving you with the need for fire damage restoration. Here’s a closer look at grease fires and how to deal with them.
What Causes a Grease Fire?
Grease fires start when cooking oil gets too hot. Sometimes cold or frozen items introduced to hot oil can cause a rapid temperature inversion—in other words, ice on the frozen food turns to steam and expands both the water and oil. Hot grease can splash out of the cookware and ignite any combustible materials it hits, including its own vapors. This most often happens when the kitchen is left unattended while food is cooking.
How to Extinguish It
The primary rule of dealing with all grease fires is simple: Never use water. Oil and water don’t mix, so if you try this method, you may cause the fire to spread rapidly.
Turn off the heat and try to smother the fire instead. If it’s still confined to your pan, try putting the lid on to cut off the flame’s oxygen supply.
You may also try using non-flammable material like baking soda or aim a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher at the base of the fire if it’s spreading. Prioritize putting the fire out as quickly and safely as possible. Spreading it further will only lead to fire damage restoration later on.
How to Prevent It
Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must step out of the kitchen for a moment, do so mindfully. When preparing food, only use as much cooking oil as the food needs. If the food is frozen, remove as much ice as possible before placing it in the pot or pan.
Finally, invest in a fire extinguisher if your kitchen doesn’t have one, and learn how to use it. You can store it in a place that’s out of sight, but make sure it’s easy to reach quickly in case of a fire.
A grease fire can spell disaster. If you’re in need of fire damage restoration, the highly trained team at PuroClean of Northwest Fort Worth can help. They respond quickly and are IICRC and EPA Lead-Safe Certified. Whether it’s fire or water damage restoration or mold removal, these professionals have the skills to return your home to its former state. Find out more about their services on their website or call (817) 953-5151 to schedule an estimate.