In today’s world, time is more precious than ever. As a result, it is commonplace for people to rush around the kitchen when preparing meals, only to realise they’ve left the cooktop on, or that cooking food has started to burn. Nothing grabs your attention quicker than the alarm of a smoke detector beeping, even your neighbours will hear the commotion from next door! There are different types of kitchen fires that can occur, not just in the family home, but also in commercial kitchens.
Types of Kitchen Fires
Dry cooking fire
A dry cooking fire can occur when the residue of liquid that boils out of a pan ignites. The dried up food residue on the cooktop catches fire and begins to smoke. A dry cooking fire isn’t too dangerous to life and property, but the heat produced can damage your cooktop and the smoke can leave behind a bad odour that’s hard to eradicate. Cleaning your cooktop after each use is a good habit to prevent these types of kitchen fires.
In a nutshell, fat fires are very dangerous and occur when the oil or fat from fatty foods is ignited. Flames can rise and reach up to your range-hood or surrounding combustible kitchen items such as cabinetry. If the correct techniques are not quickly employed to extinguish a fat fire, it can spread to other parts of your dwelling or facility in the blink of an eye.
Why you definitely shouldn’t use water to extinguish a fat fire:
Fat fires are a threat to life and property. The first thing to do is turn off the cooktop burner as quickly as possible. If the fire is small and unlikely to burn you, cut the supply of oxygen by covering the fire with a pan lid. Otherwise, the safest way to put out a fat fire is by using a fire extinguisher. If you do not have access to an extinguisher, dumping a generous amount of baking soda on the fire can help your cause as it will act as a fire extinguisher.
If the fire is large, your best bet is a fire extinguisher or fire blanket. Be sure to contact emergency services if you feel the fire is out of control. Dial 000 ASAP.
Never use water to extinguish a fat fire
Using water to extinguish a fat fire only exacerbates the issue. Water will cause the fat/oil to splatter, increasing the size of the fire. You also increase the risk of getting burned.
Ovens are constructed in such a way to deal with high heat. Oven fires are not overly dangerous given that the supply of oxygen is insufficient, hence oven fires are easily extinguished. Having said that, the smoke can leave behind a bad odour, so it’s best to extinguish the fire ASAP using an extinguisher.
Preventing all types of kitchen fires
Prevention is always better than cure:
- Clean your cooktop regularly
- Cook greasy and oily foods on a low flame when practical
- Keep your distance from cooktop burner, this includes tea towels
- Avoid wearing loose and synthetic clothes
Contact us for more guidance
If you require further information, please get in contact.