Kitchen fires can be very unpredictable; they can be a small mishap or a huge disaster in a matter of seconds. It is important to keep fire extinguishers nearby and have a plan in place. Never leave food unattended while cooking and always make sure appliances are off once you've finished using them.
The Oven is a hotspot for disasters, oven fires can start when the baking is well overdone, or when a flammable material drips down to the heating element. Oven fires also happen when an oven becomes dirty from food particles building up.
When this occurs your first reflex may be to open the oven door, but do not open the door! Instead, put out the oven fire by allowing it to suffocate. Leaving the door closed, you’ll turn off the oven to oven to stop the cooking (unplug when possible). Eventually, the flames will consume all of the oxygen, and oxygen is what the fire needs to sustain itself, killing the flames inside. When the flames eventually snuff out, clean up and open a window if possible, but if they persist, call the fire department immediately.
The stove is another likely place to cause fires, mainly with grease. Here are some good tips to deal with a grease fire on your stove-
- Don’t use water to put out grease fires. Water won’t put out the fire, it will just divert the grease and thus spread the fire.
- For a small fire, use the big lid trick as mentioned earlier. Turn off the burner and cover the burning pan or the burner itself with the lid tightly so it’s deprived of oxygen.
- Pour baking soda or salt on the flames until it’s snuffed out (again, do not use flour).
- Use a water-soaked towel to smother the flames. This is different from pouring water on the flame.
- Use a fire extinguisher, pointing it at the base of the flames.