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How to Prevent a Grease Fire on Your Stove

Planning and cooking a meal can be stressful. Add in a grease fire and it spells disaster. A grease fire occurs on your stove when oil gets too hot and ignites. This is also known as exceeding the flash point. Many popular cooking methods involving stoves require oil, such as frying or sautéing. This article will provide you with a few tips on how to prevent a grease fire on your stove.

Never Leave a Pan Unattended

I think we can all agree how easy it is to get carried away trying to multitask when cooking a meal. Many grease fires start from leaving pans of hot oil unattended while performing other tasks in the kitchen. By monitoring the pot or pan on the stove, the temperature fluctuation is noticeable and is the best way to prevent a grease fire on your stove. If you’re monitoring a pan of oil and it starts smoking, remove the pan and turn off the heat source immediately.

Oil Knowledge: Smoke and Flash Point

Different oils vary by their smoke or flash point. The smoke point is the temperature at which smoke starts to rise out of an oil and the flash point is the temperature at which the oil actually ignites. The lower the temperature oils start to burn or smoke, the easier it is for them to catch fire. Beware of the type of oil you’re using on the stove and the temperature used for cooking. If a recipe calls for a temperature higher than the oil’s flash point, you may want to use a different oil with a higher threshold. Again, if you do see smoke coming from your pan of oil, remove the pan from the burner immediately.

Routine Cleaning and Maintenance

There are two main locations in which grease fires ignite. First, in the pan itself, and second in the drip pan underneath the burner. Spills from pots and pans are inevitable. The drip pan’s job is to catch the spills and crumbs to prevent them from dropping into the inner workings of your stove and causing a short. Removing debris from the drip pan and surrounding areas of burners after each meal preparation is key in grease fire prevention.
No matter your experience in the kitchen, no one expects a grease fire on their stove. All kitchens should have a fire extinguisher within reach in case of emergencies, such as grease fires. Doc’s Appliances has experienced technicians that can review your stove to ensure all parts are working correctly. If you suspect that grease has dripped below the burner pans, or are in need of a tune-up, call Doc’s at 1-800-726-7130 today.
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