A grease fire can escalate rapidly and become dangerous if not handled correctly. It’s crucial to know how to respond swiftly and effectively to put out a grease fire without putting yourself or others at risk. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to safely extinguish a grease fire, ensuring that you have the knowledge and confidence to react appropriately in case of an emergency.
Step 1: Assess the Situation
Before taking any action, assess the size and severity of the grease fire. If the fire is small and contained, you might be able to handle it on your own. However, if the fire is large, spreading rapidly, or you’re unsure about how to proceed, it’s safer to evacuate the area immediately and call the fire department.
Step 2: Turn Off the Heat Source
The first action you should take is to turn off the heat source. If the fire is in a pot or pan on the stove, carefully slide the lid over the pan to smother the flames and cut off the oxygen supply. Do not attempt to move the pot or pan, as this can spread the fire.
Step 3: Do NOT Use Water
Using water to extinguish a grease fire is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make. Water and grease do not mix; when water comes into contact with hot grease, it can cause the grease to splatter and spread the fire. This reaction can lead to serious burns and the fire becoming even more uncontrollable.
Step 4: Use a Fire Extinguisher
If you have a Class K fire extinguisher specifically designed for kitchen fires, you can use it to put out the grease fire. Remember the acronym “PASS” (Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, Sweep from side to side) to operate the fire extinguisher effectively. Stand a safe distance away and aim the extinguisher at the base of the flames, not directly at the flames themselves.
Step 5: Baking Soda or Salt
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher or if the fire is small, you can use baking soda or salt to smother the flames. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda or salt onto the fire to create a barrier that suppresses the flames by cutting off their oxygen supply. This method is effective for small grease fires and can help contain the situation.
Step 6: Use a Metal Lid
If you weren’t able to turn off the heat source in time, and the fire is still burning, you can use a metal lid to cover the pan. Make sure the lid is larger than the pan to prevent oxygen from getting in. Using an oven mitt or a towel, carefully slide the lid over the pan to smother the flames. Turn off the burner and let the pan cool down completely before removing the lid.
Step 7: NEVER Use Flour
Using flour to extinguish a grease fire is extremely dangerous. Flour is combustible and can ignite, causing the fire to spread. Never attempt to put out a grease fire with flour under any circumstances.
Step 8: Call for Help
If the fire continues to burn despite your efforts or if it becomes unmanageable, evacuate the area immediately and call the fire department. It’s better to let professionals handle the situation to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Knowing how to put out a grease fire safely is an essential skill that can prevent a small incident from turning into a major disaster. Remember to assess the situation, turn off the heat source, avoid using water, use a fire extinguisher or baking soda/salt, and never use flour. By following these steps and prioritizing safety, you’ll be well-equipped to handle a grease fire and protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property.