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Preventing a grease fire in your kitchen

The first step when cooking in your kitchen is clearing the stove from anything that can catch fire.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids firefighters respond to a fire at least every day or every other day in the city. One of the leading causes is unattended cooking, and more often that not, it does involve the use of grease.

The first step when cooking in your kitchen is clearing the stove from anything that can catch fire.

"We've got some cooking oil and that's gotta go away. We have spray can and this has propane in it as a propellent. That's a bad deal so let's keep that away. Bread, absolutely we know toast burns so absolutely keep that away. anything that can catch fire near the stove. Keep that away from the cooking operation," said Lt. William Smith, a Fire Prevention Inspector with GRFD. 

If you experience a small fire in your pan, don't panic. Take heat, fuel or oxygen away, and your fire may go out. The best option is to cover the pan, shut the stove down and walk away.

One of the worst things you can do is add water to try to extinguish the fire.

"The water's going to expand the steam. It turns 1,700 times its normal volume from liquid to vapor. It's going to throw all that flaming grease into your kitchen and on you."

Lastly, if you can't put the fire out, get out of that area. 

"Notify everybody in your home or wherever you're at where you're cooking. Get out that space. contact 911. Early notification to the occupants and early notification to your fire department is a win."

Always be in the kitchen and pay attention to what you're doing and make sure your stove and oven are cleaned regularly so the grease doesn't build up.

If you need free smoke alarm, you can call 3-1-1 and the fire department will help you out. 

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