What to Do if a Fire Starts in the Kitchen
A scenario that everyone fears happening - you're cooking your meal in the kitchen when suddenly there is a big burst of energy and flames erupt! What happens next could mean the difference between your safety, your family, and your home. Here are some tips on what to do if there is ever a fire in your kitchen:
- Grease fires cannot be put out with water. If you are using cooking oil or cooking foods that give off large amounts of grease and they ignite into a fire, throwing water on that fire will only cause it to vaporize into steam which can cause burns to yourself as well as increase the flare of the fire. Instead, try to cover the flame with a lid or dish that will cut off oxygen supply and eventually put out the flame. If you can safely turn off the heat source, that will help as well.
- If there is a fire in your oven or microwave, do not open the door. Instead, turn off the heat source and let the flame die out on its own. Opening the door can allow fresh oxygen to reignite the flame which would otherwise die out.
- Do not try to put the fire out by swatting at it with a towel or cloth. This will only fan it and increase the possibility of it spreading onto that towel or cloth. Instead, try smothering it with a large, wet towel. Quickly soak the towel and cover the whole pan with to try to put out the flames. If it is already too big of a fire, this will not work.
- Make sure to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen that is easily accessible. This is your best bet for putting out the fire before it causes any further damage as well as the safest option for you.
The one thing you should remember about kitchen fires is that you should never try to be a hero. You will know almost immediately whether you can put the fire out and should call 911 if you have any doubts about if you will be successful. Even a small fire can spread quickly and waiting for it to get out of control can be the difference between having a smoky kitchen and suffering from catastrophic fire damage. If you can not contain the fire immediately, call 911 for help.