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Grease Fire

What Does Grease Fire Mean?

A grease fire is a fire that catches on when cooking oil or grease becomes too hot. Heating grease will first cause it to boil, then smoke, and finally ignite.

Grease fires are a significant hazard since they can quickly get out of control and spread. They are the most common type of uncontrolled fire in kitchens.

Safeopedia Explains Grease Fire

There are two types of greases that could be found in workplace settings: lubricating grease and cooking grease.

Lubricating Grease

Most lubricating greases are not easily flammable and are, therefore, not considered significant fire hazards. Under the right conditions, however, even these greases can burn.

Anyone working with a lubricating grease should consult its safety data sheet (SDS) to determine whether any fire safety precautions are required.

Many lubricating greases contain petroleum-derived mineral oil or hydrocarbon-based synthetic fluid. Those materials are generally considered combustible with a flashpoint at or over 38 °C (100 °F). In a few cases, the lubricating fluid in grease would be considered flammable below that flashpoint.

Cooking Grease and Oil

The use of cooking grease and oil is one of the major hazards in commercial kitchens and food production.

Most grease fires start when the grease is left unattended and overheats. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F and animal fats like lard or goose fat start smoking around 375°F.

A cooking grease fire is officially classified as a Class B or Class K fire and require a fire extinguisher of the same class.

How to Contain a Cooking Grease Fire

In the event of a small cooking grease fire, thre are a few steps that can quickly contain it and keep it from growing and spreadingL

  • Cover the flame with a metal lid
  • Turn off the heat source
  • Pour baking soda or salt on the fire to smother it
  • Spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • Do not attempt to extinguish the fire with water
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