Handling a fire in the kitchen

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient

PUTTING OUT A KITCHEN FIRE

Most kitchen fires are grease fires. Cooking oil is hot and can catch fire without warning. Never leave a pan of oil or greasy foods alone.

It only takes seconds for a fire to break out.

Always have a pan lid nearby when you are cooking greasy foods or with oil. If a fire occurs, put the pan lid onto the fire, carefully slide the pan off the heat, but don't pick it up and move it. Let the pan cool completely before taking off the lid. The lid cuts the supply of oxygen the flames feed on, and the fire goes out.

NEVER, EVER douse a grease fire with water. It spreads the flames.

Baking soda also puts out grease fires. Keep a box handy, but not directly over the stove; you don't want to have to reach over flames to get to it.

For an oven fire, close the door, and turn the oven off. the fire should extinguish on its own.

FIRES EXTINGUISHERS Fire extinguishers are a must for every household.

Extinguishers should be installed in plain view, away from your stove and heating appliances. All fire extinguishers are labeled using standard symbols for the classes of fires they put out. A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher can't be used on that kind of a fire.

Many household fire extinguishers are labeled ABC and can be used on all three classes of fire.

A is for ordinary combustibles

B is for flammable liquids, and C is for electrical equipment.

Carefully read the instruction manual for your fire extinguisher.

COOKING SAFETY When cooking on top of the stove, turn the handles in so pots and pans cannot be pulled off the stove by a child.

Pay attention to the clothing you wear when cooking. Full, fluffy sleeves present greater risk than short, snug fitting sleeves. If your clothes should catch on fire, STOP! Drop, cover your face with your hands, and roll to put out the fire on your clothes.

Do not overload your electrical outlets. It could start a fire. All electrical appliances and tools should have an Underwriter's Laboratory testing label.

Do not turn on the dishwasher or other small kitchen appliances and leave the house. Do not run the dishwasher and go to bed. If the appliance malfunctions, it could catch fire.

Don't let any fire get out of control. Contact your local fire department immediately if your pan lid, baking soda or fire extinguisher won't squelch a fire.

USING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER: Remember the PASS-word Pull the pin: This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other lever release mechanisms.

Aim low: Point the extinguisher nozzle or hose at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever above the handle: This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. Some extinguishers have a button instead of a lever.

Sweep from side to side: Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process. Source: National Fire Protection Association; published in the Oregonian FoodDay by Cheri Swoboda of the Oregonian staff; Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995

Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 10-04-95

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