Kitchen fires are most often started by a grease fire. Cooking oil catching on fire.
Oils have a “smoke point” and they have a “flash point”. As you heat a given type of oil, it will eventually begin to give off some smoke when it gets too hot. This is the smoke point. As it continues to heat, there is point at which it will catch on fire (flash point).
A grease fire is typically caused by excessive splash over of oil onto the heat source. If this happens in your kitchen, either on your stove top or in your oven, do you know what to do?
It’s good practice to never walk away from your kitchen stove if you’re cooking with oil.
If your cooking oil reaches the smoke point, it’s not only pretty much ruined, but it’s dangerous if you’re not paying attention. It doesn’t take too much more heat to go from smoke to little flames dancing on the surface of the oil to being fully engulfed on fire (the temperature at which the vapors coming from the oil catch on fire). The fire is self-sustaining now.
Fire needs heat, oxygen and fuel to sustain itself. The oil is the fuel, and the oil had sufficient heat to catch fire. That leaves oxygen feeding the fire.
We must remove the oxygen to put out the fire.
Stove Top Fire
Shut off the stove burner. If you see tiny flames (or worse) coming from the oil, no matter what type of stove you have (electric or gas) immediately shut off the heat source.
The burner and the pan takes time to cool, so this isn’t enough to quickly extinguish the flame. If you’re able (small fire), slide the pan over to a cool burner (electric burners retain heat for awhile).
To put out the flame, you need to remove the oxygen source. Simply put a lid on the pan and the fire will choke itself out of oxygen. Note that a glass lid might shatter from the intense heat. A cookie sheet will work too. Do not remove the lid (which will only reintroduce oxygen).
Let it sit for hours until it’s cool.
Use A Fire Blanket To Put Out A Grease Fire
Shut off the oven. If oil and grease has spattered to the bottom of the oven and caught fire (perhaps more susceptible in a gas oven), you can smother the fire with baking soda, but be aware that you might need quite a bit. You might keep a big tub of baking soda in the front of a cabinet, so it’s readily accessible.
Fire Extinguisher For Grease Fire
A kitchen fire extinguisher rated at least for grease fires (Class B) should be kept within easy reach. Ideally locate it between the kitchen and your nearest exit. A fire extinguisher rated for ‘ABC’ like this one is rated for all fires including grease, oil, electrical and flammable liquid fires.
If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher near your kitchen, I highly suggest that you get one. That’s your modern survival tip for the day.
NEVER Use Water On A Grease Or Oil Fire!
Water will spread the fire and cause a rapid explosion of intensity.
How To Put Out A Grease Fire