As we are nearing some of the peak days for home cooking fires (see our post on how to extinguish different kinds of fires here), we thought it best to go over some tips on how to prevent grease fires and how to fight them should your prevention methods prove unsuccessful. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas are the 3 biggest days of the year for home cooking fires (for obvious reasons), and it’s best to set up your kitchen in a way which prevents any kind of fires that may be difficult to extinguish (such as grease fires).

Grease Fire Prevention:

  • Do not use the stove if you’re sleepy or have just been drinking alcohol.

  • Keep an eye on the food you are cooking regularly. Do not leave it unsupervised for extended periods of time.

  • When frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food, stay in the room.

  • Do not leave anything that may catch fire near the stove top.

  • Make sure the stove is clean before cooking. Wipe up spills around the burner and in the drip pan.

  • Oils have a heat rating (how much the oil can be heated before catching fire). Make sure to be aware of the heat rating of the oil you are using.

  • Remove the pan once the oil starts smoking.

  • Do not heat the grease before putting food on it. This helps avoid splashing and subsequently, grease burns.

  • Be extremely careful when placing food into hot grease.


Fighting a Grease Fire:

  • Do not try to use water to put out the grease fire.

  • Turn off the heat.

  • Cover the fire with a metal lid (if it is small enough). This will cause the fire to die due to a lack of oxygen.

  • If the fire is small, pour baking soda on it. This will not work if it is a much larger fire.

  • If you own a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher, spray the pot with it (consequently, this will contaminate your kitchen, so only do this if you have no choice).

  • Do not panic.

  • If the fire is out of control, unless properly trained, escape as soon as possible, if necessary, with yourSkySaver. Close the door to contain the fire.

  • Call emergency services to fight the fire.

  • Make sure others have escaped as well.

A survey was conducted by Liberty Mutual about people’s behavior while cooking. There was a response of 1,0005 adults to the survey. Out of those surveyed, forty-two percent said they leave the kitchen to talk on the phone while cooking, while thirty-five percent said they leave to use the computer while cooking. Nearly one-third of respondents said they intentionally disable the smoke detectors while cooking. All this while over half the respondents said they had plans to cook for family or friends during the holidays (the survey was conducted in 2013). Do not act like these respondents. Be attentive to your cooking, make sure the stove top is clean, and know when it is time to let the professionals handle the situation.