Safety: Kitchen Fire

GREASE FIRE in the Kitchen.
SAFETY SERIES

1. Which of these is the WORST thing you can do to try and stop a grease fire on the stovetop, oven, or microwave?

A. Smother it (remove oxygen) with a lid (or another pot, cookie sheet, etc.).

B. Smother it by thoroughly covering burning oil with a dry powder (baking soda).

C. Smother it by pouring water on it.

D. Toss it outside into the yard.

E. Turn the heat source off.

F. Use Fire Extinguisher.

G. Smother it with a wet cloth.

H. Swat at it with a dry towel.

I. If in oven or microwave, smother (remove oxygen) by shutting the door.

2. What are the BEST thing(s) to do for a stovetop fire?

3. What are the BEST thing(s) to do for an oven or microwave fire?

4. What could go wrong with above-mentioned methods, A-I?

RECOMMENDED SITES WITH ANSWERS:

Dummies.com: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-put-out-kitchen-fires.html

WikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Put-out-a-Grease-Fire

The Kitchen: http://www.thekitchn.com/kitchen-safety-how-to-put-out-138233

4-minute demonstration of the water no-no: http://digg.com/video/slow-mo-captures-why-you-should-never-ever-use-water-to-put-out-a-grease-fire?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

ANSWERS and DISCUSSION HERE

1. What is the WORST thing you can do to stop a small grease fire in the kitchen?

POURING WATER IS THE WORST. Either the water will sink beneath the oil without smothering the flame or, far worse, it will splash, causing the oil to flare up much bigger. It is easy to lose control of the flame this way, burn your kitchen or entire house.

 

2. What are the BEST thing(s) to do with a STOVETOP FIRE?

SMOTHER -- either WITH A LID or DRY POWDER

AND TURN OFF THE BURNER/FLAME.

3. What are the BEST thing(s) to do with an OVEN or MICROWAVE FIRE?

SMOTHER -- BY CLOSING THE OVEN OR MICROWAVE DOOR

AND

TURN OFF AN OVEN.

See F and G for two other effective methods.

 

4. WHAT COULD GO WRONG with the above-mentioned methods?

A. Lid does not cover well enough, oxygen still enters the fire.

B. Insufficient amount of the powder. It must do more than soak up the oil/grease; leave plenty of dry power on top.

Bicarbonate of (baking) soda is most recommended; salt seems next best. Although some say flour works, others say it will explode and cause a worse fire. (Suggestion: Keep stale refrigerator-deodorizer soda near the stove for this contingency.)

C. The danger of pouring water is explained above.

D. Attempting to get the fiery skillet or pot outside is very foolish. You can burn and scar yourself badly doing this. You can splash it on someone else or drop it and melt your flooring. Even if successful in getting it outside, you might start a grass fire.

E. Turning off the heat source (burner) is essential unless the fire is beyond control and/or you will get burned doing so.

F. NOT JUST ANY FIRE EXTINGUISHER WILL WORK. Some are worse than nothing (contain water). A Class B Dry Chemical (or Class K) extinguisher is/are the recommended types.

How to use a fire extinguisher and types of extinguishers: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Fire-Extinguisher With extinguishers, ALWAYS AIM AT THE BASE OF THE FIRE to be effective at actually extinguishing and to not waste content with ineffective use.

The extinguisher was not listed as best above because: (1) it is questionable whether most people will have the correct type, and (2) of this caveat: When you use the Class B extinguisher, you will contaminate your kitchen. However, if you do have one handy, it may be your best option, if you cannot immediately smother the fire out with a lid or baking soda.

G. A WET cloth (kitchen towel, cotton shirt) can block oxygen if there is no dry powder or adequate lid quickly available. But be sure, on the one hand, that it is totally wet so that it doesn't burn, but, on the other hand, that it is also not dripping so as to explode the flame.

H. DO NOT swat at it with a dry towel. This is almost as dangerous as pouring water; you will catch the towel on fire.

I. If in oven or microwave, smother flame (remove oxygen) by shutting the door. The inside will likely be damaged; that is better than the alternatives.


DO WHATEVER IS QUICKEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE.

IF THE FIRE GETS OUT OF CONTROL, DON'T BE A "HERO."

EVACUATE THE HOUSE AND CALL 911.


Access Point
AP20150601

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