Bob Vila Radio: Extinguishing Grease Fires

Don't make a bad situation worse. Here's how to deal with grease fires safely and effectively.

Grease fires are serious business. Would you believe they account for nearly a quarter of at-home fire-related deaths?

Putting Out A Grease Fire




Every homeowner ought to know what to do in the face of stovetop flames.

First, never attempt to put out a grease fire with water, or any other liquid. Instead, if you can reach the control safely, turn off the range burner as quickly as you can. Don’t attempt to move the pan; that may simply cause the fire to spread.

Next, cover the pan with a pot lid, or even a cookie sheet—anything to block the supply of oxygen to the fire. Note that it’s also possible to smother a grease fire with table salt or baking soda. But never use flour, biscuit mix, or baking powder—all of those are combustible.

If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your house, let alone within easy reach of the cooking appliances in your kitchen, reconsider your choice. This is precisely the sort of situation where a fire extinguishers proves its worth. You’d simply pull out the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the lever and sweep the flames.

Sure, using a fire extinguisher makes a mess. But that’s no doubt preferable to your house burning down.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click hereto subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!