A grease fire in your kitchen can be a scary event. Nevertheless, it can occur quickly and easily when a pot or pan of oil is left unattended. Oil heats up quickly, and once it starts to smoke, it may ignite. Nevertheless, a grease fire can be extinguished before any damage is caused to you or your kitchen. If the grease fire is still contained in your pot or pan, it can safely be extinguished by you. However, if the fire has started to spread to your stove or other areas of your kitchen, it is best to evacuate your kitchen and home and call 9-1-1.
Here are a few ways to safely extinguish a grease fire that is still contained in a pot or pan:
Eliminate the heat source.
Fire requires heat in order to avoid been extinguished. Thus, it is best to turn off your stove as soon as you notice the fire. At this point, there is no need to try to relocate the pot or pan. Doing so could cause the hot oil to spill onto your skin or to damage your kitchen floor. Eliminating the heat can cause the fire to go out, but sometimes, additional steps, such as those below, may be needed.
If you can do so safely, place a top over the pot or pan to eliminate airflow to the fire. Be sure to don an oven mitt or heat resistant gloves when placing the top over the fire. In addition, only a metal top should be used. Glass could shatter due to the heat from the fire.
If a top is not available, you can use a large baking pan as a lid.
Use baking soda.
If you are unable to quickly find a top or other suitable lid, reach for the baking soda. Baking soda helps suffocate the fire by reducing its oxygen supply. This approach is generally more suitable for small fires since it takes a large amount of baking soda to put out a fire.
Use a fire extinguisher.
A chemical fire extinguisher should be kept in your kitchen at all times. It is one of the safest and easiest method of extinguishing a grease fire. Simply pull the pin, aim the fire extinguisher, squeeze the trigger and sweep the extinguishing chemical from side to side to quickly snuff out the fire.
If you ever experience a grease fire in your kitchen, never try to extinguish it with water, flour or a dish towel, and always keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you do not have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, purchase one from a fire suppression supply company (such as Echo Fire Protection) as soon as possible.