I remember it well, I had some friends over the house, the kids were in the play room, my wife was upstairs, and I was grilling some hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone just outside of the garage.

hamburgers and hotdogs cooking on flaming grill

I had pulled the burgers and dogs off the grill, shut the lid to the grill, moved the grill back inside the garage and went inside to serve some food. What I didn't do was turn off the grill...

I was distracted for literally two minutes when I opened the door to the garage to find it filled with smoke as the grease trap had caught fire just below the grill. It certainly wasn't a huge fire, but it was enough for me to be like, "Oh, man, I got to get this thing out."

inexperienced home cook holding pot burning fire in panic stress

I will admit, I did panic for a second. I wasn't ENTIRELY sure what to do, but I remembered somewhat quickly. I immediately re-shut the grill's lid and turned off the propane.

But what if this was inside the house? Like, on the stove? Would you know exactly what to do?


Fireman extinguishes a fire in an old wooden house

If you accidentally start a fire while cooking, you need to know the following...

  • Cover a pan or grease fire with a lid and turn off the heat. Baking soda also works.
  • Don't move a burning pan.
  • Don't use water or a fire extinguisher on a grease fire.
  • Stand by your pan. Don't leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stove top unattended.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent spills.
attachment-IMG_4912 (1)
  • Create a three-foot child-free zone around the stove. Keep pets away also.
  • Keep combustible items like pot holders, towels, and paper or plastic bags away from burners.
  • Don’t put metal in a microwave. Utensils, aluminum foil or twist-tie wraps can cause a fire.
  • Use caution with microwaved food and liquid. They can become very hot.
  • Unplug appliances like toasters and coffee makers when not in use.
  • Don’t use the oven for storage.

Information courtesy of mass.gov

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