What to do if Oil Catches Fire While Cooking

Seeing a fire start on your stove while cooking is terrifying, and your first instinct may be to douse the fire with water. But water on an oil fire is a huge NO! 

Knowing how to deal with an oil fire while cooking, generally known as a grease fire, will ensure that you can safely extinguish the stove fire without creating a more dangerous situation.

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. It is important to know how to put out these fires safely and effectively.

  • Cover the fire with a metal lid or a cookie sheet.
  • Turn off the stove burner.
  • Pour salt or baking soda onto the fire.

What NOT to Do to a Grease Fire

Fires that begin in oil are not extinguished like other fires. Some things can cause the oil to spread, making the fire bigger. Some things may react with the fire, creating even more chaos.

DO NOT use the following items in the case of a grease fire:

  • Water. Water can actually spread the fire. Never put water onto a grease fire.
  • Baking Products. Even though things like cornstarch and flour resemble baking soda and salt in looks, they are not suitable for putting out grease fires. ONLY use baking soda or salt to smother a cooking fire.
  • Your Hands. Whatever you do, do not attempt to move the fire someplace else. If you pick up the pot that is on fire, you can splash the fire on other places, increasing the chance of spreading the fire.

See how to put out a cooking fire here: 

Many fires begin in oil while cooking, and these fires can easily be put out. The key to making sure a grease fire doesn’t spread is to stay calm and put it out properly. If the fire becomes out of control and starts spreading, immediately call 911 to get help.