Do YOU Know How To Put Out A Grease Fire?
For my daughter's birthday last week, I wanted to make a really nice looking cake. I found this cool tutorial online that shows how to frost a cake with buttercream frosting but make it look like fondant.
According to this tutorial, you want to heat up your spatula using really hot water. When I was telling my mom about it, she said she's tried it before, but she heats her spatula over the stove. That sounded easier to me, so I decided to try it that way instead. I forgot to consider the fact that my mom has one of those fancy flat stovetops, and I have coil burners… you may see where this is going.
Anyway, when it came time to frost the cake I decided to try my nifty new-found smoothing technique. I turned on the stove, heated up my spatula, and went to work, not paying attention to the fact that my spatula was dripping just a little bit.
Things were actually going pretty well at first. I was about half way around the cake when I happened to glance at the stove (I honestly think it was divine intervention) just as a small flame sparked up in the drip pan of the burner I had been using. I immediately felt my heart skip and watched helplessly as the flame suddenly grew about 6 inches tall. My natural reflex was to turn off the heat- the only thing I did right in this whole situation. I started to race all kinds of scenarios in my mind- was there a fire extinguisher in the hallway outside my apartment? Did I dare leave the fire for even a second to go look? Was the whole building going down in flames because of my stupidity? I absolutely panicked, racking my brain for information I knew I had once been told, but had placed on the back burner (no pun intended;) ), thinking it was something I would never need to use.
I am a little embarrassed to admit that in this crucial moment of action, the only thing I could think to do was to call my sister- she's great, but let's be honest, when something catches on fire that is not the time to call a close friend. In my defense, I didn't want to dial 911 just yet, and I figured she would know what to do. However, she didn't answer the phone and I really started stressing. Just as I was about to grab the kids and run outside to look for the fire extinguisher, the fire started slowly dying down until it completely died. I just sat there for a couple minutes and said a silent prayer of gratitude.
I am very ashamed to admit that I acted so foolishly and didn't have the knowledge required to handle this potentially devastating situation. I have since amended that;).
The first thing you want to do with fire is remove its heat and oxygen source. If you can do so safely, turn off the heat and put a metal lid (glass will shatter) on the pan (unless, like in my case, the fire was not in a pot so you do not have that luxury;) ). This alone can stop a lot of grease fires.
If you cannot safely turn off the heat or put the lid on, it's time to pull out the baking soda. Pour some on the fire and it should go out. Because of this, it would be very wise to keep a couple boxes of baking soda close to the stove so they are within easy reach if you ever need them.
It's also smart to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Again, you want it within easy reach should something happen, and the other methods are not stopping the fire.
As an extra precaution it's always a good idea to make sure your family has an escape route and meeting place designated in case a fire ever goes out of control. But hopefully it will never happen because of a kitchen fire because now you are armed with knowledge! :)
Have any of you ever had any fire scares? I would love to hear about how you handled the situation, or if you have any other tips and advice for putting out fires in the kitchen!
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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