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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Kitchen Cleaning After a Grease Fire in Whiting

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Grease fire in a cast iron pan on stovetop Grease fire in Whiting brought soot and smoke damage throughout 2 story home.

Cooking is such a routine activity that it is easy to forget that the high temperatures used can easily start a fire. More fires start in the kitchen than in any other place in the home. Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen while food is cooking. Luckily, the majority of reported cooking fires were small.

Do Electric or Gas Stoves Cause More Kitchen Fires?

Households that used electric ranges showed a higher risk of cooking fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges, according to the National Fire Prevention Agency. This could be because with an electric range it may be less obvious that a burner is still on.

Did You Know That Oil and Grease Could Start a Kitchen Fire?

Grease fires happen when oil, grease, or fat on a stovetop or oven get hot enough to ignite. They are highly flammable which means they can catch fire easily. Different oils burn at different temperatures or flash points, but every oil you can buy at the grocery store is capable of catching on fire if the temperature is high enough. When you're cooking with grease, it's important to know the warning signs that oils are getting too hot. Boiling and smoking are good indicators that it's time to turn down the heat. Oils heat very quickly, and once it starts to smoke, oil can catch fire in as little as 30 seconds.

Water Makes Grease Fires Worse

NEVER try to extinguish a grease fire with water. Throwing water on the fire can cause burning grease to splash, which can make the fire spread and potentially harm bystanders. It is dangerous to move a pan or pot of burning oil for the same reasons, according to VeryWellHealth.com.

Grease Fires Can Get Out of Control Quickly

Do not wait until the fire is out of control to call 911! The fire department can always return to the station if you are able to get the fire out before they get to you.

What to Do If You Experience an Oil or Grease Fire?

  • Call 911-Fires can become out of control very quickly
  • Turn off the Stove whether it is the burner, oven, or broiler.
  • Cover with a Lid-The easiest way to cut off oxygen to a grease fire is to cover it with a metal pan lid or baking sheet. 
  • Douse the Flames-The warning to never use water to put out a grease fire is worth repeating, especially since your urge may be to take a burning pot to the sink and turn on the faucet. Instead, you can reach for two pantry staples to help douse a small grease fire safely with baking sodabecause it releases carbon dioxide when heated, which can smother the fire or salt can form a barrier between the fire and the air. This prevents the fire from getting the oxygen it needs. NEVER use flour and baking powder as they are highly combustible and can explode in extreme heat. Do not use them (or any boxed mixes that contain them) on a grease fire.
  • Use a Class K Fire Extinguisher. These are wet chemical extinguishers that are commonly found in commercial kitchens. They are designed specifically for cooking fires and work by forming a soapy foam on the surface of the fire that cuts off air flow. NEVER use a Class A-only fire extinguisher on a grease fire, as it is water-based.

When to Call the Pros at SERVPRO of Toms River to Clean After a Grease Fire?

Because grease fires cause such extensive damage and be a long, intensive process, it's almost always advisable to call in professionals. SERVPRO of Toms River have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

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