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How to Put Out a Grease Fire

Grease is a leading cause of kitchen fires, accounting for at least 50% of home fires resulting from cooking materials. Grease fires have claimed thousands of lives and damaged property worth millions of dollars. To save lives and property, it pays to tackle such fires as quickly as possible while taking careful precautions. 

Pride Cleaning & Restoration has a reputation for providing reliable fire damage restoration and cleanup services. The technicians at the company know their stuff when it comes to dealing with oil-related fires. Here, they give a detailed guide on how to put out a grease fire. 

Grease Fire 101: What Causes a Grease Fire? 

When grease or oil reaches its ignition point and catches fire, that’s a grease fire. Since flammable liquids fuel such fires, they need specialized handling. 

Unlike other kinds of fires, oil-related fires usually spread rapidly and can lead to grave burns, injuries, and property damage. Some cases can even be fatal!

Some attributes that set grease fires apart include thick smoke, intense flames, an acrid smell, and a peculiar popping or sizzling sound. Understanding the cause of a grease fire is the first step to preventing or controlling it. 

Here are some of the common factors that trigger grease fires:

  • Grease or oil spills: An accidental spill near a heat source, inside an oven, or on a stovetop can result in a catastrophic chain reaction.
  • High cooking temperatures: When grease or oil becomes too hot beyond its smoke point, it can easily ignite and become a hazard. 
  • Ignition sources around cooking areas: Grease can easily ignite when it’s too close to open flames, hot surfaces, and open flames. 

The Don’ts in Putting Out a Grease Fire

Tackling a grease fire may seem like a simple task, like blowing a candle out, but doing it wrongly could spell trouble.

It’s crucial to keep a few things in mind when dealing with fires involving grease. First, never try to extinguish a grease fire using water. The water will only splash the burning grease into other areas, aggravating the situation. 

How about covering the fire with a wet towel? That’s another bad idea. It’s like adding fuel to the fire.

The water in the towel helps spread the fire to a wider area. Trying to remove the pan from the stove may also not work. The pan can accidentally drop onto the countertop or floor and spill the flaming grease. 

This will spread the oil over a larger area, which is more dangerous to handle. Also, using a water-based fire extinguisher can be disastrous, as the pressurized water may blow the flames to the ceiling. 

How to Extinguish a Grease Fire

Knowing how to act quickly and effectively is critical when dealing with a grease fire. Fire damage cleanup and repair professionals recommend calling an emergency service before everything else. The next step is to evaluate the extent of the damage. 

If it’s a small fire confined with a pan, a simple DIY process can tackle it safely and prevent further damage. However, if the fire is widespread and out of control, don’t hesitate to evacuate and call in a fire damage cleanup company

Here are some helpful tips to handle various sizes of grease fires:

  • Small grease fire: Gently place a cookie sheet or metal lid over the pan to deprive the flames of oxygen and stifle them. Turn off the stove. 
  • Medium grease fire: Use a fire extinguisher designed for oil-related fires. Apply the P.A.S.S method – Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.
  • Large grease fire: Get everyone to leave the house and contact emergency services. Trying to put out large grease fires without proper training and equipment can cause more harm than good. 

Other Methods to Put Out a Grease Fire

Without a fire extinguisher, these alternative techniques can help control small grease fires:

  • Baking soda: Sprinkling a copious amount of baking soda over the flames can smother the fire. 
  • Salt: Covering the fire with salt can suppress the flames. 

Trust Pride Cleaning & Restoration to Get Any Fire-Damaged Property Back in Pristine Condition

Knowing how to safely put out a grease fire can help prevent injuries and minimize property damage, and it pays to work with a qualified professional when it comes to fire damage repair. Pride Cleaning & Restoration is the go-to expert for top-quality fire damage cleanup and repair in the St Louis Metro area.

Call Pride Cleaning & Restoration at (314) 668-1223 or fill out their online form to get started today!

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