How to Put out a Grease Fire—No, Water Won’t Work

If you came to this article I would assume that you’re not that good in the kitchen. So if you ever find yourself in the situation to extinguish a grease fire don’t use water! Here’s what you need to know…

Image Source: Kzenon/Shutterstock

If you watch out on what you’re cooking you will never burn it. As the old saying goes “A watched pot never burns” but we all know that if we take our attention off the stove for 2-3 minutes we can be in a lot of trouble. Large portions of the home cooking fire have started as a result of unattended cooking equipment.

What you Need to Do to put out a Grease Fire

So, you’re asking me – If I’m not using water to extinguish a grease fire, then what do I do when and if it comes to that? There isn’t a “One answer fits all situations” to be honest. And as the Former fire chief from Springfield, Missouri, and Director of University Safety at MSU (Missouri State University) – David Hall puts it, sometimes smothering the flames is a great option. If you’re trying to extinguish a cooking flame, the best way to do it is to use a cookie sheet or some kind of metal to cover the fire. The metal object will also shield your hand. The best way to cover the pan is to put the metal object on the nearest lip of the pan and after that lift the pan in order to cover it whole. This way you will protect your hands from the hot splatters and the fire.

You can also use something else in order to extinguish a grease fire if the situation doesn’t leave you time to go look for a metal sheet. You can use some baking soda and salt to put the fire out. But, try and keep it calm, because if you use flout or baking powder you will make the fire worse. You can always use the good old fire extinguisher, but not every house has this handy tool in their kitchen. But, if you have one, the type B extinguishers are for flammable liquids such as oils and grease. And the class K ones are specifically made for extinguishing grease fires according to Hall.

Moving the pan from the fire will not help you in putting the fire out because this way you will only fan the fire and put more oxygen into it which will increase its intensity. Also, you should not be using towels and other similar things to try and put the fire out because these might spread the fire easily. If you happen to spread the fire make sure you have your phone to call the fire department said, Hall.