Friday, 6 August 2010

What to do if there's a kitchen oil fire

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Most kitchen fires happen when people aren't paying attention or they leave things unattended.

Cooking oil is particularly dangerous because it can catch on fire if it gets too hot.

  • Never fill a pan or deep fryer more than one-third full of oil.
  • Make sure pans and utensils are completely dry- water and oil don't mix.
  • Never leave your pan unattended. If you leave the room, turn off the heat.
  • Use a thermostat-controlled deep fryer to make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot.
  • If the oil starts to boil, remove it from the heat source right away. Turning down the temperature won't reduce the heat fast enough.

If your pan catches fire...
Watch this to find out what to do

To recap: What to do if there's a kitchen oil fire

  • Don't move the pan, it'll be very hot.
  • If you can, turn off the heat, making sure not to lean over the pan to reach the controls.
  • Don’t use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil because the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire.
  • Never use water- this will cause a fireball (see video!)
  • If you can, wet a cloth, wring it out, and place over the pan to smother the fire. Make sure the cloth has no holes in it.
  • Get outside, stay outside and call 911

Other tips to prevent fires when cooking

  • Don't wear loose clothing- they can catch fire easily.
  • Never leave pans unattended. If you're called away from the stove, turn off the heat.
  • Don't cook if you've been drinking alcohol or taken prescription drugs.
  • Turn saucepans so the handles don't stick out over the edge of the stove top.
  • Keep the oven and stove top clean - built-up fat and bits of food can start a fire.
  • Check that your toaster's clean, well away from curtains and empty the crumb tray regularly.
  • If an electrical appliance catches fire, don’t throw water on it. If it is safe to do so, you may be able to put out the fire immediately by either pulling the appliance’s plug out or switching off the power at the fuse box.
  • If a fire doesn’t go out, get out of the house right away, stay out and call 911.


Melissa said...

Never set the kitchen on fire but have overcooked many a meal. ha ha

Sybil Hebert, RD said...


Sinta Rahmi said...

Great blog Sybil.
Thanks for the tip.

Take care

water fire extinguishers said...

This is a great post with some valuable information which could really help people in such a situation. I imagine most people wouldn't know what to do, but hopefully they come across this blog. Thanks for the tips, I appreciate them.