Cleaning up after a kitchen grease fire

It’s not unlikely for a kitchen accident to cause a house fire. Since cooking is such a common culprit, there’s a chance that you’ll be dealing with a grease fire sometime in the future. But what exactly causes a grease fire? What is the best way to handle them and clean up afterward?ac-8-4-22-P.jpgFire prevention is one of the most important aspects of kitchen safety. It’s important to familiarize yourself with fire safety rules and remember to practice them whenever you’re in the kitchen. You can help avoid the top causes of a grease fire in the home by following these safety tips:

1. Never leave an unattended pan on the stove

It can be easy to get distracted or try to multitask while food is cooking on the stove. But remember that leaving pots and pans unattended on the stove is one of the surest ways for a fire to start and build before you have time to stop it. 

2. Be cautious around open flames

When you have a gas stove (or other open-flame cooking devices) that you use often, it can be easy to forget how dangerous cooking with fire can be. Don’t let oil, grease, or chunks of food fall down into the open flame because they will easily catch fire. 

3. Don’t mix grease and moisture

When you cook food in more than an inch of grease, don’t do so directly from frozen. Mixing moisture and hot cooking oil isn't safe because oil and water don’t mix. Adding too much water (or ice crystals) will cause the grease to foam, spit, and splatter. Remove as much moisture from the food items as possible before cooking them in the hot oil to avoid it getting on the burner and igniting.

4. Heat oil slowly to the recommended temperature

Heating your cooking oil too quickly increases your risk of causing a grease fire. Heat all oil, grease, or cooking fat at a reasonable rate and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too hot and start smoking or ignite. ac-8-4-22-S.jpg

5. Add food gently, and don’t go too fast

The grease in the pan isn’t all you need to worry about. Adding food into hot grease too quickly or haphazardly can cause the oil to splatter. Splattered grease may land directly on the burner, which is more likely to cause a fire. 

6.Keep baking soda, salt, and a fire extinguisher on hand

If a grease fire breaks out, never try to put it out with water. Unlike wood-burning fires, water makes a grease fire much worse by spreading it faster. Instead, your best chance of extinguishing it is using a fire extinguisher, salt, or baking soda to smother it. Keep in mind that for kitchens, you should have a Class ABC or Class K extinguisher.

What to Do When There’s a Grease Fire

First of all, don’t panic. Keep a clear head and call 911 immediately. Then grab the fire extinguisher, salt, or baking soda that you should have nearby. 

If using an extinguisher, remember the PASS acronym: Pull the pin. Aim at the base of fire. Squeeze the trigger. Sweep side to side until the flames have gone out completely and the fire has been extinguished. 

For the salt or baking soda, you’ll want to scatter it liberally on the base of the flames. Don’t worry about wasting the salt or baking soda because too much is infinitely better than too little. You need enough to cover the source of the flame and smother it. 

How to Clean Up After Putting Out a Grease Fire

First, move any burnt, unsalvageable objects out of the way. You’ll probably need to discard anything that is visibly burnt. Next, try to clean off any remaining smoke or soot marks. You will need a sponge or washcloth and some vinegar to do so. Dip the sponge or washcloth in the vinegar and wring out most of the liquid. Wipe down all the affected surfaces, rinsing and re-dipping your sponge or washcloth as needed. You may need to repeat the process if there’s still soot left after the vinegar dries.

It’s likely that some things from the fire will be very difficult to clean up yourself. For those, it’s best to call in a team of fire damage cleanup experts like AdvantaClean. AdvantaClean specializes in a variety of cleanup jobs. We’ve been in the fire damage and mold cleanup industry for years, but we do so much more. Our other cleanup services include mold remediation, water damage restoration, air duct cleaning, sanitization, and natural disaster cleanup and restoration services.

The experts at AdvantaClean have all of the experience and knowledge to get the job done right. If you need professional help after your home has been through a fire, flood, or other disaster, contact us and request a service appointment today!