According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the most common cause of kitchen fires, and the greatest risk comes from frying. Grease fires are dangerous because they can get out of control easily and 54% of reported non-fatal injuries came from victims trying to put out the flames themselves.
Prevention is key when it comes to grease fire safety. These tips will keep you safer in the kitchen:
- Cook in a clean area with clean cookware. A greasy cooktop or exhaust hood can catch fire easily once a burner gets hot.
- Clean up spills as soon as the cooktop cools. Drip pans that have grease or food can ignite the next time they’re used.
- Never leave cooking food unattended. It only takes minutes for pans to boil over or scorch.
If oil begins to smoke, turn the heat off and carefully remove the pan from the burner. This is a sign that it’s getting too hot and is close to catching on fire. Don’t rush to move the pan; the grease may not be on fire but it is still hot enough to cause serious burns if spilled on clothes or skin.
- Keep a lid within easy reach to smother flames, if necessary.
- If you need to drain grease from a pan, make sure none of it has spilled down the side of the pan before returning it to the burner.
If you do have a grease fire, keep calm and take these steps:
- Turn off the heat
- Use a lid to smother the flames. A towel will only fuel the flames, literally, and water sinks to the bottom of the pan, heats up and turns into a vapor that will cause a flaming oil explosion.
- Use baking soda to extinguish the fire. Never, ever substitute baking powder, flour, sugar or any other kitchen products.
- Use a fire extinguisher, if you have one. The product will leave a messy residue, but it’s better than the alterative.
- If the fire gets out of control, get everyone out and call 911 from a neighbor’s home.
If you experience a grease fire at your home or business in Portland, OR, call the professionals at ServiceMaster of Portland. We provide comprehensive fire and smoke damage restoration for your property and possessions. We’ll respond quickly to prevent the spread of soot and smoke through the rest of the building.
Restoration costs vary, depending on the extent of a grease fire. According to HomeAdvisor.com, the national average to repair smoke and fire damage was $$4,983.00.