How to Put Out a Grease Fire

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Don't be caught unprepared when cooking in the kitchen. If you are working with grease or oil, it is critical that you know what to do in the event it catches fire. Should you ever find yourself faced with a grease fire in your kitchen, follow these steps to ensure that it is extinguished quickly and safely.

  • Place a metal lid over the flame. Do not use glass since the heat from the fire can cause it to break.

  • Smother the fire with a liberal amount of baking soda if it is relatively small and contained. Try finding a lid if possible. Because it requires so much baking soda to extinguish a fire, a lid is faster and generally more effective than baking soda.

  • Spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher. Use this method if it is your only option, because it will ruin food and contaminate kitchen dishes and utensils.

  • Use a Class K wet chemical fire extinguisher if it is available. Though more effective for extinguishing large grease fires, these are generally found only in commercial settings.

  • Call 911 immediately if the fire is not quickly extinguished or if it grows too large to be controlled.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use any type of powdered baking product (such as flour) other than baking soda when trying to extinguish a grease fire. It may be flammable, and rather than putting out the flames, it might fuel them instead.
  • A fire extinguisher could potentially spread flames as you try to extinguish them, so be careful that this does not happen if you use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire.
  • Do not try dousing a grease fire with water under any circumstances. Water will not put out a grease fire.
  • Do not attempt to carry the flaming pan to the sink or outside. The pan will be too hot to transport, in addition to the likelihood that the grease will spill when you try to carry it. You will end up burning yourself and spreading the fire.

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