Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grease fires in the kitchen

Dray Clark put up an informative Facebook post which got some interesting comments regarding grease fires in the kitchen.

Having worked industrial jobs most my life, I take for granted that most people know not to put water on grease or electrical fires, but Dray’s post reminded me that human instincts are to douse a fire with water.

Some comments suggest that you smother the fire with a lid or throw flour on it, but the fire could be too large to smother, and the flour may be in a cabinet dangerously near the fire (which is the case in my kitchen).

Every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher located in an accessible location away from the oven or stove.

All fire extinguishers are not created equal.

Make sure you get a fire extinguisher that you can pick up and operate. Some are large and heavy and shouldn’t be used in the kitchen if it’s too big for you to handle.

Within the past few years, a new class of fire extinguisher designed just for kitchen grease fires are available. It’s the ‘Class K’ extinguisher. If you use a common ‘Class A’ extinguisher filled with water, you’re causing more harm than good. (Not all ‘Class A’ extinguishers use water but many of the older ones do).

Home Depot sells a Kidde Kitchen fire extinguisher for $20. It has a net weight of 2.5 pounds, discharge time of 8-10 seconds, discharge range of 5 feet and operating pressure of 100PSI.

This small extinguisher is easy to handle, but beware of the other specs.

It will empty in less than 10 seconds and you must use it within 5 feet of the fire. Make sure you hold on to the nozzle because 100 pounds per square inch of pressure will whip the nozzle violently, and it will likely hit you in the head.

All extinguishers list their stats so beware of what you are buying so you get the right one for the right purpose.

1 comment:

  1. Great tip! Cooking safety is definitely something everyone should think about but often falls short on.