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IFFD shows how to handle a grease fire in the kitchen

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IDAHO FALLS — With Thanksgiving just around the corner and all the cooking that comes with it, the Idaho Falls Fire Department wants people to remember what to do if there is a grease fire.

On Wednesday, they demonstrated fire safety with EastIdahoNews.com. Fire officials say grease or cooking fires are the number one cause of structure fires that IFFD responds too throughout the year. In the United States, there are around 160,000 house fires caused by grease and cooking fires each year.

IFFD Training Chief Jon Perry said there are some important things to remember.

“If you don’t put it out the right way. If you add water to it — which is what a lot of people want to do — it’s going to make it ten times worse,” he said.

Throwing water on grease fire almost immediately turns the water into steam, throwing the grease into the air causing a large fireball.

Perry said there are three steps to putting out a grease fire.

  1. Shut of the heat source
  2. Cover the pot or pan with a lid, smothering the flames
  3. Move the pot or pan off of the hot burner to a cool burner

In some cases, there may not be a lid to cover the pot or pan. In those cases, Perry said to dump salt on the fire.

“The last resort is a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher,” Perry said. “The challenge is that if you get to close, there’s a lot of power behind that extinguisher and it could actually push (the burning grease) out of the pan onto your countertops.”

Watch the video above for a full demonstration of what to do in case of a grease fire in the kitchen.

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