Residential Fire Damage & Restoration in Stroudsburg/Mt. Pocono Pennsylvania, Part 3

In our last post we looked at the number one cause of cooking fires, unattended cooking, which is a completely avoidable situation.  However, what should you do when a cooking fire happens and threatens to damage your kitchen, or worse… your entire home.  You need to be prepared to fight back because you are the first line of defense against a devastating house fire.

Let’s start out with some basics… almost all kitchen fires are grease related fires.  These happen when any collection of grease or oil on your cook-top, oven or in a pan, gets hot enough to ignite.  Because the fuel for the fire is a liquid, the first step is to smother the flames using a lid.  (Do not use a glass lid as extreme temperatures can cause some glass lids to break).  You want to remove the oxygen from the fire by covering it as quickly as possible and contain the flames.

DO NOT attempt to carry the pot or pan to the sink, or outdoors, as this usually causes spilling or splashing of the flammable grease, quickly spreading the flames and injuring people.  Grease burns at a very high temperature.

A good way to smother a cooking fire without splashing the grease and spreading the fire is to smother it with baking soda.  It takes quite a bit of baking soda to extinguish even a small fire so it’s best to follow some basic rules when cooking;  1). Do not leave your cooking unattended,  2). Always keep a lid handy in case of a grease fire and, 3). Although you may not be able to completely smother a fire with baking soda alone, you should keep some handy as it can be extremely effective if used with a lid.

Remember to keep baking soda and a lid immediately accessible because, as with any fire, you only have a few, short moments to either extinguish the flames, or get everyone to safety.

NEVER POUR WATER ON A GREASE FIRE AS GREASE AND WATER DON’T MIX AND THE WATER WILL SIMPLY DISPLACE THE BURNING GREASE, CAUSING IT TO SPLATTER AND SPREAD THE FIRE MORE QUICKLY!

The last, best piece of equipment every kitchen needs is a fire extinguisher. A good fire extinguisher that is rated for grease fires is a great tool to add to your first line of defense.  Every kitchen must have a properly rated fire extinguisher.

Come back in the next day or two and we’ll discuss what type of fire extinguisher you want in the event of a cooking fire along with a thorough breakdown of how to identify all different fire extinguishers and the fires they are used to extinguish.

Phoenix is proud to serve The Poconos, The Slate Belt, and The Lehigh Valley.  If you have questions regarding fire, water, smoke or mold remediation and restoration, please post your question here or contact us by email or Facebook.  We’re always happy to answer your questions.