Fire Prevention Week this year is October 4th to 10th and the theme is Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.
Did you know? Applying water to grease or cooking oil fires is dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 50 per cent of all kitchen fires in North America are caused by people adding water to grease or oil fires. When an oil or grease ignites, the vapors above the fluid are what you actually see burning. When the product ignites, it produces vapors and creates a larger flame.
Water is heavier than oil, which means it will sink to the bottom of the appliance being heated. As the pot or pan has exceeded the boiling point, the water will instantly start to boil when it hits the heated pan bottom. Water expands rapidly and quickly changes state from a liquid to gas. This creates steam that carries the burning fuel—with explosive force—to other surfaces within the kitchen that may be combustible.
What is the best way to extinguish oil or grease fire?
There are a couple great ways to extinguish cooking oil or grease fires:
• Reduce the heat or turn off the heat source.
• Suppress the fire by using a fire extinguisher. If you do not have an extinguisher readily available, put a lid on the pot/pan that fits properly. This will reduce the amount of oxygen currently feeding the fire. If you do not have a lid, adding baking soda should do the trick. This is the riskiest of the options as you will need to be close to the fire.
Will flour put out a fire?
No. Flour is actually explosive and may become additional fuel for the fire. It could also assist with spreading the fire to additional surfaces.
In all situations, call 9-1-1!
If the fire is too large for you to try and extinguish, evacuate your home, call 9-1-1 and do not re-enter the home until advised it is safe to do so by the fire department.
-Fire Cheif Jamie Wilkinson, Wetaskwin Fire Department