Fire: What To Know

Fire In The Kitchen

A pan of cooking oil on a stove-top element is a recipe for danger! The oil can overheat, burst into flames and cause a house fire that rapidly spreads out of control. Protect yourself from serious burns or death by following these basic precautions:

Deep Frying

  • Don’t heat oil or shortening in a cooking pan on a stovetop element.
  • Use a deep fat fryer with a thermostat specially designed to prevent oil from igniting.
  • Follow the fryer manufacturer’s instructions for care and cleaning .

Pan Frying

  • Use an electric frying pan with a thermostat and a light coating of oil on the bottom of the pan.
  • Carefully regulate the flame when using a gas stove to avoid flare-ups around the pan.
  • If you use a pan or wok for stir frying, preheat the pan before adding the oil. The pan is hot if a teaspoon of water skitters or dances across its surface.

Oven Cooking

  • Grease and food splatters can ignite at high temperatures, causing an oven fire, so keep your oven clean.
  • Follow the cooking instructions for the recipe.
  • When broiling, place the oven rack two to three inches from the broiler element and lways place a pan beneath the broiler rack to catch the fat drippings. Don’t use aluminum foil — the accumulated fat in the foil could catch fire.

More Safety Tips

  • Make sure that items such as paper towels, pot holders, curtains and dish cloths – items that catch fire easily – are well away from the area around your stove.
  • Loose clothing is a serious burn hazard.
  • Keep a charged fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Plan and practice a fire escape route with your family.
  • Never use a stove as a heating appliance.

Oven Fires

  • Turn off the heat.
  • Close the oven door and keep it closed!
  • Use a fire extinguisher if you have the proper one for the job and you know how to use it.

Cooking Oil Fires

  • Never use water to extinguish a cooking oil fire — it will make the fire flare and spread!
  • Put a tight-fitting lid on the pot or slide a cookie sheet over it to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
  • Turn off your overhead fan to keep the flames from spreading.
  • Don’t try to move the pot from the stove. The flaming oil might spill – burning you and spreading the fire.
  • Don’t pour burning oil down the sink!

Use ONLY thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers. If you can’t put the fire out quickly, leave the building and immediately call the fire department for help.

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