(WHTM) — With many people in the kitchen cooking Thanksgiving meals, there is always a risk of fires. Most types of fires can be put out with water, but there is one fire that you should always keep water away from.
Grease fires occur when cooking oil becomes too hot. According to Brigade Fire Protection, when cooking with oil, first it will boil and then will smoke. If you do not take it off the heat at that time, the oil will catch fire. It can take less than 30 seconds for the smoking oil to catch fire.
Below are smoke points of common oils:
|Extra-Virgin Olive Oil||350°F|
But why can’t you use water to put out that fire? It all has to do with the molecules and water and oil do not mix. According to ADT, water can cause the flaming oil to spread. Oil has less density than water, so when the water goes on fire, the water sinks under the grease, which pushes the oil to the surface.
The water will rapidly heat and vaporize. Since the water is under the oil, the vaporized water will lift the flaming oil into the air and explode into a ball of grease.
Besides water, ADT says that you should never put out a grease fire with a wet towel as well as flour, baking powder, or sugar.
So what should you do if a grease fire occurs in your home?
- Turn the heat off and do not move the pot or pan.
- Cover the fire with another pot or a metal lid. Fires need oxygen and by smothering the flames, you are cutting off the oxygen supply. Do not use a glass lid as they can shatter in intense heat.
- Your last resort would be to use a Class B Fire Extinguisher. They will put the fire out but will contaminate your kitchen in the process.
- If the fire gets too large, get out of the house and call 911.
The best way to not deal with a grease fire is to prevent it. Here are some tips to prevent grease fires.
- Keep your workspace clean.
- Always clean up splattered grease around your stove after cooking. Oil will build up over time and could catch fire.
- Heat oils slowly.
- Do not heat oils on the maximum settings. Let the oil get hot using a lower temperature.
- Keep a lid nearby.
- Keep a lid on hand in case a fire starts.
- Do not leave the stove unattended.
- When heating oil, always be near the stove. If you see it begin to smoke, take it off the heat and wait for it to cool down before resuming cooking.