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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Kitchen Fires & Fire Extinguishers

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

The number one cause of home fires is cooking.  The kitchen is where the 3 things needed for a fire come together: heat, oxygen, and fuel.  Oxygen is always present.  Stoves provide heat.  And cooking oil or the oil in grease provide the fuel.  Almost 10% of cooking fires spread beyond the kitchen and cause significant damage to the house.  And truthfully it doesn’t have to spread beyond the kitchen to do significant damage.  The smoke can travel through out the house causing significant smoke damage.   

You should never throw water on a grease fire because it can make it worse.  You can douse a fire with baking soda or salt, but we often don’t have enough on hand to do the trick.  The other problem with baking soda and salt is in the panic of the moment they can easily be confused for flour or baking powder, both of which are highly flammable and will make the fire worse. 

Your best bet is to store a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen or very close by.  But did you know that there are different types of fire extinguishers? It’s based on what is sprayed from the fire extinguisher.  Some extinguishers use water, others use foam, others use chemicals.  Obviously for the kitchen you don’t want a water-based fire extinguisher.  Following is a great article on the different types of fire extinguishers to help you decide which one is right for you.

 Most Common 5 types of fire extinguishers and their uses (teamworkholding.com)

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