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A Recipe for Disaster

A Recipe for DisasterIt’s happened. You’ve accidentally bumped the pan, and the cooking oil you were heating up is now in flames. This can be a very serious situation with dire consequences. A decision must be made quickly. Rule #1 – don’t panic.

There are a few simple ways you can put out this fire without injury to you or your home. First, turn off the heat. Then, you need to cut off the fire’s life supply: oxygen. Find a flat metal object like a cookie pan to place over the pan to cut off the oxygen supply to the fire. Do not use glass, as it may shatter.

If this does not work, there are other remedies. Put baking soda onto the flame source until it is out. This is best for small fires. Be careful not to get too close to the flame, so you do not get burned. Wear gloves if quickly and easily accessible! Also, if you have a vat of grease, do not dump the baking soda until it is safe to do so. If you dump something large into that grease at once, it may force the grease out of the pan, which may still be on fire.

The last resort is using a fire extinguisher. This will make your kitchen quite messy, but it’s a better alternative than your house burning down. An ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher works best. If even this does not work, evacuate and call 9-1-1. If you happen to catch fire yourself, STOP, DROP and ROLL!

What NOT to do:

  • Put water on a grease fire. This will only make it spread.
  • Swat the fire with cloth, whether it is wet or dry. The grease or fire could catch on the cloth and spread it to other places around your kitchen.
  • Pick up flaming pan and run with it. It is best not to touch the pan at all, as the temperature will have risen significantly in a short amount of time. It is up to you if you want to inch the pan out of the house, but burns will most likely be imminent. If you are to pick up the pan at all, grease will still be in motion and can spill out as you hold it – onto you, the floor where you’re standing and all of your surroundings.

A grease fire is a scary situation. I hope none of you ever have to experience it. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help prevent a grease fire from ever happening.

A grease fire happens when your cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then start smoking before eventually catching on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450° F, while animal fats will start smoking around 375° F.

Whenever you’re heating any type of oil, stay in the kitchen. If possible, use a pot or pan with a solid metal lid. Keep an eye on the oil as it heats. If you see wisps of smoke or it doesn’t smell right, immediately turn down the heat or remove the pot from the burner completely. The oil won’t catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it’s well on its way.

Be mindful in the kitchen and always be prepared. Have a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure you and your family know how to use it. Keep a stock of baking soda somewhere you can grab it easily, and make sure it is not used for anything else. You wouldn’t want to reach over and it be empty if you needed it. Did you know that Brookshire’s sells its very own baking soda? It’s just as good as the national brand and less expensive, so stock up!

Hopefully, you will never have to experience a grease fire, but with these things in mind, you could potentially save your family and your house from this kitchen disaster. With anything, make sure your entire family knows how to handle these situations. You never know when things could go wrong.

So, have a creative and joyful experience cooking up the recipes you love or would love to try! Just remember to be safe and alert when dealing with anything that may become a recipe for disaster.

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Posted in: Cooking

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