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How to Put Out Kitchen Fires

When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

  • 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 you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

  • 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.

  • Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

    • If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.

    • Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.

    • Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

    • Use a fire extinguisher.

  • Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.

  • If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! 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.

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