Water and burning grease are an explosive combinationKitchen fires cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries in our nation each year. In the United States, 42 percent of fires are related to cooking. In Minnesota it is even higher, with 50 percent of fires cooking related.
By: Sarah Buhs, Pine Journal
Kitchen fires cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries in our nation each year. In the United States, 42 percent of fires are related to cooking. In Minnesota it is even higher, with 50 percent of fires cooking related.
I’m not sure why our state is 8 percent higher than the national average. I do know the big reason for these fires is unattended cooking. I remind people to stay in the kitchen when cooking. If you must leave, turn on the timer to remind you to come back to the kitchen if you get distracted.
Grease fires can be the most dangerous cooking fires if the individual does not know how to properly put out or contain the fire. When most people see fire, the natural reaction is to put water on the fire. For grease fires this will only make the fire worse. If you put water on the grease fire, the water has no smothering or absorbing properties, it only splatters the burning grease or oil, spreading the combustible all over which in turn spreads the fire, making a very dangerous situation even worse.
In the Cloquet Area Fire District demonstration at Veterans Park on Labor Day, we showed how to put the grease fire out by simply putting a lid on the fire, in effect “smothering it.” You can use baking soda, but a lid is better because it contains the fire.
Following are some safety cooking tips:
Keep children away from stove, at least three feet, or use a rug and remind them not to play or stand on rug while you are cooking.
Keep handles turned in so they aren’t sticking out from the stove;
Use safety knobs to keep children from turning on burner;
Talk to your children about the dangers;
Have pot holders near stove;
Keep a lid by stove;
Do not cook under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
Do not wear loose-fitting clothing that could catch on fire;
Call 911 if needed.