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Learn when to use a fire extinguisher, when to smother a fire, and when to call the fire department. 

Seven thousand people are injured in kitchen fires each year in the UK and that doesn’t include the people who are killed. Don’t be one of them, know what to do and what not to do in the kitchen.

Nearly two thirds of all domestic fires happen because of cooking. The kitchen is the single most dangerous place in your home, and time and time again it is the same problems that cause fires. If you know about those problems, the chances are you will be less likely to have a fire in your kitchen.

Those frightening statistics lead up to one big question: Do you know what to do when a kitchen fire flares? Should you first reach for the fire extinguisher or for the phone to call the fire department? 

Grease Fires in the Kitchen 

Grease fires belong in a class by themselves and should not be handled like any other kitchen fire. Rule No. 1: Never pour water on a grease fire. The best way to handle a grease fire is to smother it, if possible, and let it die out. Follow these specifics: 

  • Whenever you're cooking, have an oven mitt, a potholder, and a lid that fits your pan all on hand and ready to grab in case fire sparks.
  • If grease catches on fire in your cooking pan, quickly put on the oven mitt, then place the lid over the pan to smother the fire. Try to slide the lid over the flames as opposed to dropping the lid down from above.
  • Turn off the burner and leave the pan exactly where it is so that it can cool.
  • Never move the pan, never carry it outside or put it in the sink, and don't lift the lid until the pan has turned cool. 

Oven, Microwave, and Electrical Fires 

Fires can happen anywhere in the kitchen — near an electrical outlet, in the microwave, or in the stove. Here are some tips to help you know what to do in case of any of these kitchen fires: 

  • Oven fires. Immediately close the oven door and turn it off. If the fire doesn’t go out right away, call the fire department. Have the oven inspected and repaired before you use it again.
  • Microwave fires. Close the microwave door and keep it closed. Turn the microwave off and unplug it if you can do so safely. Leave it closed and don't use it again until you can have the appliance checked out by a technician.
  • Electrical fires. Prevent electrical fires by not overloading your electrical outlets with appliances. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher; never douse it with water. Always call the fire department for an electrical fire, even if you have already put it out with the fire extinguisher. 

Using a Fire Extinguisher on Kitchen Fire 

Every kitchen should be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Get one that's labelled as safe to use on any kind of fire, and keep it within easy reach. 

If a fire starts, you won't have time to stop and read the directions. Become familiar with these tips to understand how to use a fire extinguisher on a small kitchen fire: 

  • First, remove the pin from the fire extinguisher — it won't work if you don't.
  • Point the extinguisher toward the base of the fire, not the top of the flames.
  • Holding it by the handle, press down on the lever on the fire extinguisher; just let go when you want to stop.
  • Spray horizontally back and forth across the fire until it's extinguished, remembering to aim low. 

Baking soda is also an important ingredient in any kitchen, and not just for baking cookies. If a fire breaks out on an electric stovetop or if you don’t have anything available to smother a grease fire, grab a box of baking soda and pour it generously on the flames. Baking soda will help to extinguish a small fire, but you may need several boxes of it. Never use flour to put out a fire, as it can make the flames worse. 

When to call the Fire Department for a kitchen fire 

So when should you call 999, and when should you try to fight a fire yourself? Never hesitate to call the fire department. But if it's a small, contained fire, you should follow the above tips to try to extinguish it while waiting for help to arrive. 

You should also be sure to get your family out of the house, and if the flames rise and spread, you should get out, too. Kitchen fires that start small and can be quickly contained or extinguished are one thing, but roaring fires aren't something you should attempt to tackle. Remember safety first: Keep yourself and your family protected, and call for help. 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn when to use a fire extinguisher, when to smother a fire, and when to call the fire department.

Seven thousand people are injured in kitchen fires each year in the UK and that doesn’t include the people who are killed. Don’t be one of them, know what to do and what not to do in the kitchen.

Nearly two thirds of all domestic fires happen because of cooking. The kitchen is the single most dangerous place in your home, and time and time again it is the same problems that cause fires. If you know about those problems, the chances are you will be less likely to have a fire in your kitchen.

Those frightening statistics lead up to one big question: Do you know what to do when a kitchen fire flares? Should you first reach for the fire extinguisher or for the phone to call the fire department?

Grease Fires in the Kitchen

Grease fires belong in a class by themselves and should not be handled like any other kitchen fire. Rule No. 1: Never pour water on a grease fire. The best way to handle a grease fire is to smother it, if possible, and let it die out. Follow these specifics:

  • Whenever you're cooking, have an oven mitt, a potholder, and a lid that fits your pan all on hand and ready to grab in case fire sparks.
  • If grease catches on fire in your cooking pan, quickly put on the oven mitt, then place the lid over the pan to smother the fire. Try to slide the lid over the flames as opposed to dropping the lid down from above.
  • Turn off the burner and leave the pan exactly where it is so that it can cool.
  • Never move the pan, never carry it outside or put it in the sink, and don't lift the lid until the pan has turned cool.

Oven, Microwave, and Electrical Fires

Fires can happen anywhere in the kitchen — near an electrical outlet, in the microwave, or in the stove. Here are some tips to help you know what to do in case of any of these kitchen fires:

  • Oven fires. Immediately close the oven door and turn it off. If the fire doesn’t go out right away, call the fire department. Have the oven inspected and repaired before you use it again.
  • Microwave fires. Close the microwave door and keep it closed. Turn the microwave off and unplug it if you can do so safely. Leave it closed and don't use it again until you can have the appliance checked out by a technician.
  • Electrical fires. Prevent electrical fires by not overloading your electrical outlets with appliances. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher; never douse it with water. Always call the fire department for an electrical fire, even if you have already put it out with the fire extinguisher.

Using a Fire Extinguisher on Kitchen Fire

Every kitchen should be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Get one that's labelled as safe to use on any kind of fire, and keep it within easy reach.

If a fire starts, you won't have time to stop and read the directions. Become familiar with these tips to understand how to use a fire extinguisher on a small kitchen fire:

  • First, remove the pin from the fire extinguisher — it won't work if you don't.
  • Point the extinguisher toward the base of the fire, not the top of the flames.
  • Holding it by the handle, press down on the lever on the fire extinguisher; just let go when you want to stop.
  • Spray horizontally back and forth across the fire until it's extinguished, remembering to aim low.

Baking soda is also an important ingredient in any kitchen, and not just for baking cookies. If a fire breaks out on an electric stovetop or if you don’t have anything available to smother a grease fire, grab a box of baking soda and pour it generously on the flames. Baking soda will help to extinguish a small fire, but you may need several boxes of it. Never use flour to put out a fire, as it can make the flames worse.

When to Call the Fire Department for a Kitchen Fire

So when should you call 999, and when should you try to fight a fire yourself? Never hesitate to call the fire department. But if it's a small, contained fire, you should follow the above tips to try to extinguish it while waiting for help to arrive.

You should also be sure to get your family out of the house, and if the flames rise and spread, you should get out, too. Kitchen fires that start small and can be quickly contained or extinguished are one thing, but roaring fires aren't something you should attempt to tackle. Remember safety first: Keep yourself and your family protected, and call for help.