If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you’ve probably slashed your finger while chopping vegetables or overcooked something at some point.
Even though cooking is not an especially hazardous activity most of the time, you still need to exercise caution whenever you do it.
When cooking, for instance, a grease fire could break out at any moment. If your pan has caught fire, continue reading to find out more about what caused the fire and how to prevent it from happening again.
- Why Do Cooking Pans Catch Fire?
- How to Prevent Your Cooking Pan from Catching Fire
- What Do I Do If My Pan Catches Fire
- What Not To Do If Your Pan Catches on Fire
Why Do Cooking Pans Catch Fire?
When the cooking oil that is sitting on top of your pan gets to a certain temperature, your pan will start a fire. When it is brought to a high temperature, the oil will begin to boil. It takes some time, but eventually it starts smoking, which will develop into a fire in the end.
The smoking point of most vegetable oils is 450 degrees, which means that if you heat your pan to 500 degrees, there is a significant risk that your pan will catch fire. The smoking point of most vegetable oils is 450 degrees.
How to Prevent Your Cooking Pan from Catching Fire
Prevention is by far the most effective strategy for ensuring that grease fires do not become a common occurrence in your home.
Exactly how to go about doing that is outlined in the following:
Never Leave Food Unattended
Cooking ought to be your sole focus whenever you are in the kitchen. For instance, a person could receive a phone call, which would almost certainly cause them to become distracted.
Be sure to stay in the kitchen at all times, even if you’re on your phone; this is especially important if you’re cooking with grease or if your oven or toaster is preheating to an extremely high temperature.
It doesn’t take more than a minute and a half for the smoke to become a fire. If there is an urgent matter that requires you to leave the kitchen, you must ensure that the burner is turned off before you leave.
Don’t Cook When You’re Tired
When you get home from a hard day at the office, the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen preparing meals. Because of the risks associated with cooking, it is a smart idea to get your meals ready in advance or to place takeout orders if you are too exhausted to cook.
Because it requires your complete focus and attention, cooking is something you should avoid doing if you’ve been drinking or if you’re too exhausted.
It is recommended that you squeeze out as much moisture from your food as possible before beginning the cooking process. Foods that have a high moisture content and are cooked in a pan that is too hot can start a fire.
If at all possible, you should steer clear of the practice of putting frozen food into hot grease because doing so not only starts a fire but also causes the pan to crack.
Monitor Grease Temperature
Checking the temperature of the grease is something that ought to be done given that grease is the most typical source of a fire. It is imperative that the temperature of the grease be maintained at the level specified.
Learn more about the recommended temperature for your pan by consulting the instruction manual that came packaged with it. Keeping track of the temperature is made simple by the utilization of a thermometer.
Heat Oil Slowly
Be sure to heat the oil slowly so that your pan does not catch on fire while you are doing so. Because of this, you won’t be able to abruptly bring the temperature up to a very high level; instead, you’ll need to raise it gradually in order to prevent the pan from heating up too quickly.
Be sure to add food carefully so that hot oil does not splatter all over you, and this will help keep you from getting burned. Always protect your hands by donning gloves when working with hot oil.
Read more here about how to stop cooking pans from turning black when placed directly over a flame.
What Do I Do If My Pan Catches Fire
If your pan does catch on fire, here is what you need to do:
Turn the Heat Off
The first thing you should do if the fire in your pan spreads is to turn off the heat. If you move the pot from its position on the stovetop, you put yourself in danger of being burned by the flames or the hot oil. It is always a good idea to avoid doing this. Turning off the heat will also prevent there being any further increase in temperature.
Cover the Pot
It is always a good idea to keep a metal lid near your stovetop, especially if you are going to be cooking with hot oil or at a high temperature.
It is impossible for fire to thrive in an atmosphere that is devoid of oxygen; consequently, if the pot is covered and there is no heat, the fire will extinguish itself over time. Make sure that the lid that you use to cover it is not made of plastic or glass because the glass will splinter and the plastic may melt, causing even more damage.
Pour Baking Soda
When it comes to putting out grease fires, baking soda is an excellent tool to have on hand.
If, on the other hand, the fire has gotten out of control and is too large, baking soda might not be able to put it out (unless you use a lot of it), but it will undoubtedly keep the flames from getting larger.
Baking soda extinguishes fires by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This decreases the amount of oxygen in the area around the fire, which ultimately puts out the flames. When you are cooking with hot oil, you should always keep baking soda close by your stove.
Salt is fantastic for putting out grease fires, which is a fact that not many people are aware of.
In contrast to baking soda, salt can put out a fire of any size, regardless of how large it is. Because salt is able to rapidly absorb heat, it simply sucks the heat from the grease, which results in the fire being unable to ignite and extinguishing itself immediately.
Use a Towel
If you don’t have a lid handy, you can put the fire under control with a towel if you don’t have anything else. A towel will not cause the fire to start, but it will significantly reduce the likelihood that you will be burned.
By placing a towel over a grease fire, it is possible to prevent the fire from receiving oxygen; however, the fire will not go out immediately; rather, it will begin to go out gradually.
In order to protect not only yourself but also your family from serious burns, you must remember not to move the pot from its position after the towel has been placed on top of it.
If your pan is on fire and the flames are spreading, you need to call for assistance as soon as possible.
Get out of the kitchen immediately and dial 911 so that someone can assist you before the fire gets out of control.
Use a Fire Extinguisher
Even though it is said that fire extinguishers should not be used to put out grease fires, if you know the right way to use a fire extinguisher – you’re good to go.
Before using your fire extinguisher, it is essential to know the kind of fire you are dealing with. If you’re dealing with grease fire and you shoot with high-pressure carbon dioxide, there is a huge chance it will simply spread everywhere and end up causing more damage.
Make sure to stay back when using the extinguisher in order to protect your body from the flames. It may take a while, but the fire extinguisher will do its job and smother the flames.
If you want to know how to use a fire extinguisher to end a grease fire, here are a few different fire extinguishers and the right time to use them. Make sure the one in your kitchen is the right one for you or you might just end up causing more damage.
High-Pressure Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher
The most popular kind of fire extinguisher is one that uses high pressure carbon dioxide, and you can quickly spot one of them. These fire extinguishers put out fires by removing oxygen from the burning material, which puts an immediate stop to the blaze.
When using this extinguisher, you should attempt to avoid getting too near to the pan since the nozzles provide a significant amount of pressure to the flame.
The carbon dioxide in these extinguishers evaporates, so they won’t do any harm to your pan. The only damage that will be done is from the hot oil and the flames themselves.
Extinguishers that employ high-pressure carbon dioxide won’t be of much service outside or in situations that have a lot of fresh air circulating through them. Because carbon dioxide is less effective at freezing temperatures, they are best suited for usage in enclosed spaces that are relatively small and in which the fire is still under control.
Dry Powder Extinguishers
Extinguishers that use dry powder include bicarbonate, and their mechanism of action involves eliminating oxygen from the flames in order to extinguish the fire. These extinguishers are ideal for use outside and are versatile enough to put out any form of blaze.
These fire extinguishers are the best option for putting out any kind of fire, whether it be one in the kitchen or one caused by electricity.
When it comes to extinguishing fires, however, dry powder extinguishers come with a caveat. These extinguishers, in contrast to high-pressure carbon dioxide extinguishers, have a tendency to create a significant amount of mess.
Because these extinguishers are defective and leak, once you begin spraying, it is possible that all of the powder will come out at once. In addition, you need to have these fire extinguishers serviced once a year to prevent the powdery buildup of the extinguisher’s contents, which would render the device ineffective.
More Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are four different categories of fire extinguishers to choose from. Extinguishers of the Class A kind may be used on common materials such as wood, paper, rubber, and a variety of plastics. Extinguishers of the Class B kind may be put to use on fires involving flammable liquids such as gases or grease, or in situations where oxygen levels need to be lowered in order to put out the fire.
Extinguishers of the Class C kind are optimal for use on fires that include electrical equipment. For instance, a fire extinguisher that relies on water to put out the blaze will not be effective against these blazes and may even cause the user to get an electric shock.
Extinguishers of the Class D kind are optimal for use on materials like as magnesium, titanium, sodium, and potassium.
At home, the most effective way to put out a grease fire is using a high-pressure carbon dioxide extinguisher. You might also use dry powder, but before deploying an extinguisher, make sure the heat is turned off. When putting out a fire with an extinguisher, it is important not to apply too much pressure on the pan and not to stand too near to the flames. If you are unable to do the task on your own, you should get assistance and make it a point to store your fire extinguishers in a secure location after you are through.
What Not To Do If Your Pan Catches on Fire
There are a few things you should avoid if your pan catches on fire.
Do Not Use Water
Whatever you do, do not add water to the grease fire. It will only make the situation worse. If you pour water on it, it may cause the oil to splash all over the place, which will only make the fire worse.
The vaporization of water makes it easier for particles of grease to be carried along with it, which will only serve to spread the fire. Additionally, water extinguishers are strictly forbidden to be used in the cooking area.
Instead of putting out the fire, all they will do is splash hot oil in your face and make a mess. Explosions are also possible when water is present.
Do Not Move the Pot
It is natural for your first instinct to be to simply carry the pot and throw it outside when a fire has suddenly broken out in front of you; however, you should resist the urge to do so.
If you attempt to move a pan that is currently on fire, there is a significant risk that you will burn yourself with hot oil. You run the risk of not only hurting yourself but also the people around you in the process.
Do Not Use Baking Products
Although the use of baking soda is permitted, the use of other baking products, such as flour, is not at all acceptable.
They may share a similar appearance, but that is the only thing they have in common. The flour will not react in the same way, and it is possible that it will make a mess and splash hot oil on you.
Do Not Panic
This one could be a bit challenging to understand at first.
When you see a grease fire start out in front of you, the natural response is to worry since grease fires are rather frequent and may be highly dangerous if they grow out of control. Panic is a human reaction.
However, it is essential to be aware that even a single incorrect action may result in a great deal of harm for you, as well as for your loved ones and your neighbors. So be very cautious. If you cook somewhat often, you should be familiar with the many methods that may be used to extinguish a grease fire.
Because you never know what can happen, you should always have a metal lid or some baking soda on hand. In the event that you do not have any nearby, you should be familiar with how to utilize your appliances and how to put out fires in the kitchen.
Call a member of your family or a trusted friend for assistance if you feel that you cannot manage the situation on your own. The more prepared you are for the circumstance at hand, the more effectively you will manage it.
It’s easy to start a grease fire, but if you have the necessary equipment on hand and know what you’re doing, you can put it out quickly and safely without causing any harm to yourself or your property. Grease fires are rather frequent. In order to avoid starting fires caused by grease, remember to follow the advice given above.
What causes a pan to catch fire?
When the oil gets to be too hot, it can cause a fire in the grease. When you cook with oil, first the oil will start to boil, then it will start to smoke, and finally it will catch fire. It might take less than a minute for the smoking oil to catch fire, which is why you should never leave a pot or pan unattended while it is in use. Keep the temperature of the grease at the level specified.
What are 3 ways to prevent fires?
Always use the outlet itself as the point of connection for power cords; never an extension cord. Never walk away from the fireplace while it contains a fire, and always make use of a fire screen made of glass or metal to keep the flames and embers contained in the fireplace. You should never try to heat your home with the stove or the oven.
How can pan fire be prevented?
Kitchen fire safety rules
- Always make sure the stovetop, oven, and grill are spotless…
- Never put out a fire in a chip pan by pouring water on it…
Never fill a pan more than one-third full of oil.
- Don’t take chances addressing major flames. …
- Always make sure the toaster is spotless and kept far away from the drapes and rolls of kitchen paper.
- Do not walk away from the pan at any point.
What should you not do if a pan catches fire?
Five Things NOT To Do When Your Pan is On Fire
- Do Not Walk Away From a Frying Pan While It Is On the Stove. The majority of fires started in frying pans occur during the first five minutes after the heat source is turned on…
- A Frying Pan Should Never Have an Extinguisher Used on It…
- Do Not Extinguish the Fire in the Incorrect Manner…
- Take Care Not to Forget to Turn Off the Heat Sources…
- Do Not Get Worked Up.