I’m going to give you some safety kitchen tips this time around. Your kitchen is a dangerous place if you are not careful and keep a watchfull eye. I mean we deal with ingredients that are flamable, and any combination of things can set up a chemical reation that can then create the most common (and devastating) kitchen hazard – Fire.
The best way to deal with fire is to prevent them, and some ways to do that are quite simple:
- Don’t leave oil or other fats unattended on the stove
- Keep the stovetop clean of grease and food particles, which can spread a fire
- Cooking with liquor is awesome, leaving it near the stove is a no-no, since it can catch fire, and the same goes for anything flammable like paper towels and hanging cotton.
- If you are going to fry that chicken, or fries, make sure that pot of oil for deep-frying is no more than half-full. And dry the food well before dropping it in.
- Don’t reuse frying oil too often. Old oil has a lower smoke point, which makes it prime for catching fire. The same goes with high-quality, unrefined olive and nut oils.
So you prevented, and were careful and still you got yourself a fire in your kitchen, what to do:
- Call 911 for anything more than a small fire-up. If it spreads from the stove, hop to the phone before doing anything else. Then try to contain it.
- I hope you have a handy fire extinguisher in your kitchen, if not – you need to get one pronto. Then learn to use it. If you don’t you can do more harm than good, so make sure you do. In some cases, some fire houses can show you the proper way to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher and a plus, you get to gawk at fire fighters in the meantime – so eye candy while getting good information? – Sign me up!
- If an appliance starts to spark or flame, don’t toss water on it. Use baking soda on it, but first turn off the breakers.
- Never, EVER, throw water on a grease fire. Water is heavier than oil, if you use it, it will sink to the bottom, where it will turn into steam, and if you remember your science class back in junior high, that is a sure way to get a volcanic reaction, with a fireball exploding towards the ceiling and walls.
Other ways to deal with grease fire:
- Smother it. Put a lid on the pot and tamp it down with a thickly wadded, damp (not sodden) towel.
- Do not move the pot away from the stove. Moving it to the sink is almost instinctive, but you may drop it and cause the fire to spread.
- If the grease fire is in the oven, don’t open the door. Turn off the heat.
- Do not throw flour or sugar on the fire. They are combustible.
- Keep smoke detectors in good working condition.
Hopefully you will never, ever have to use any of these tips. Stay safe.