How to Prevent Grease Fires
It might surprise you that grease is the common culprit when it comes to initiating the majority of kitchen fires. Grease fires can become uncontrollable in very little time, so it is necessary to prevent them from igniting in your kitchen. Be conscious of safe and dangerous practices alike for cooking with hot oil in order to best protect your home from grease fires.
Be sure to remove any flammable objects from the cooking area before you begin cooking. If a grease fire were to ignite, leaving combustible items, including cookbooks or paper towels, on the cooking surface or even in areas surrounding the surface enhances the risk of the grease fire expanding, as those items would also catch fire. While cooking, make sure that you are monitoring the cooking space. Turning your back for even a few seconds can allow for a grease fire to ignite, so it is crucial to be as attentive as possible when cooking with hot oil and grease. Also, be sure to save any cocktails that you may be drinking before the meal until after you’ve finished cooking in order to prevent misjudgment or any mistakes from occurring that could cause a grease fire. In the event that a grease fire does ignite, however, keep a metal lid as well as some baking soda nearby, as both can be used to smother it. It is important to understand, though, that baking soda should only be used to smother small, isolated grease fires.
Throwing food into hot oil would be an example of a dangerous practice when cooking with hot oil. Doing so can cause the hot oil to splash and potentially find its way onto the hot cooking surface, resulting in a grease fire. Instead, be sure to gently place the food into the hot oil. This is especially important to remember when cooking with frozen food. Allow those foods to thaw before cooking them in hot oil. Finally, refrain from throwing any type of liquid onto a grease fire if one were to break out, as doing so may cause the fire to grow instead of smother.