Kitchen Fire – What to do if a fire breaks out?
A kitchen fire doesn’t just cause extensive damage to your home, many kitchen fires also result in death or injuries, especially when trying to put out the fire.
It is therefore very important to know how to prevent kitchen fires from occurring and what to do in the unfortunate event if a fire does break out.
Kitchen fires, while cooking or heating food, are one of the main causes of home fires in Ireland. According to Kilkenny County Council Fire and Rescue Service, there are on average, over 1,000 reported incidents of kitchen fires in Ireland per year.
All it takes is a moment of distraction e.g. answering a phone or a doorbell, attending to a crying child, being careless with kitchen appliances or leaving a tea towel next to a frying pan – it takes very little for an accident to happen.
What to do if a pan catches fire…
There is no such thing as a safe fire. It’s better for you to prevent fire than to fight it. Tackling fire is a job best left to professional firefighters as small looking pan fire can in a split second turn your kitchen into an inferno. Have a look at the video below and see it for yourself:
Kitchen Fire Emergency tips
- Immediately turn off the stove, but only if it is safe to do so
- Never move the burning pan, wait until the flame died out and the oil cooled completely.
- If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
- If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.
- If the fire is small, don’t panic. Turn off the burner, use an oven mitt to grab a tight fitting lid and cover the pan. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot. Don’t open the lid until the oil has cooled down. Letting the air in will re-ignite the fire.
- Never use water to put out grease or oil fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease.
- If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.
- Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.
- Keep a large box of baking soda or salt by the stove. If your pan catches fire, throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Baking soda puts out fires by releasing carbon dioxide and smothering the fire. Salty is a great absorber of heat for its volume. It sucks so much heat out of the grease that it simply can’t support combustion any more. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.
- If the kitchen fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 112 or 999 (Emergency Fire Brigade). Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route.
Once the fire is put out, you need to quickly assess the damage and report a claim to your insurers. It will probably be better if you don’t try to do it yourself, but call in a professional loss assessor like us, who has experience in assessing and handling these kinds of claims. We have helped many home and business owners file their claims and receive a full compensation for their loss. Read some of the case studies and testimonials.