How to Survive A Grease Fire In Your Oven

US Army 52811 Fire safety

Scary Flash Grease Fire

The picture is not my oven.

However … I had a terrifying flash grease fire in my oven this past Sunday. I had been broiling burgers and had a “boom” and flames shooting out from around the oven door about a foot on all sides before dying. The fire was hot enough to burn the paint off the counter door hinges next to the stove.

Don’t Panic

I was smart enough to not panic and not open the oven door allowing the fire to burn itself out quickly. Grease from the broiling burgers went boom, and even though they were in a pan and the pan was covered with foil, the grease fire happened. What a mess. Apparently, I did something wrong.

I did not call the fire department because it burned itself out. The house was really smoky, and I turned on the vents an opened the doors and windows. Then the home heated up went from 72 degrees to 82 degrees in less than 30 minutes. It was 99 degrees outside.

The fire reminded me of how a BBQ will have fire flair up when grease hits the charcoal or flame. FYI I do have fire extinguishers in the kitchen.

Thank you, God and guardian angels for looking out for me. This is just another of the joys of being a widower and how God looks out for me.

As I told my 42 years old son when I called him informing him of my adventure that “I was just trying to cook as per the instructions on the frozen hamburger patties.” One option was to broil them.

I was going to cook the entire container and then just reheat them. This is just another adventure. The torture is cleaning the oven. I have started. I have thought about just buying a replacement, but I need to clean up my mess.

The Takeaway

Thank you, God, for your watch care. And ladies, if your husband gets near the stove or oven, you may want to tell them to please step away before they hurt themselves or burn down the house.

Why Ovens Catch Fire

  1. The oven may be dirty. There might be food scraps or built-up grease splatter that could catch fire.
  2. Maybe you forgot something in your oven which can lead to burnt food.
  3. In my case, I was cooking something with a lot of fat and grease. It splattered and cause a flaming fire.
  4. Your batter can overflow and catch fire when baking. Use a proper size pan to reduce this risk.
  5. I read online that some people had reported their ovens catching fire when they had the self-cleaning feature on if they haven’t cleaned the oven regularly.

What to Do When It Catches Fire

  1. Don’t open the oven door!
  2. Turn off your oven. Allow the fire to burn out on its own. Leaving the oven door closed reduces oxygen and should help the fire go out.
  3. If the fire does not go out on its own, leave the house and call 911.
  4. If the fire does go out, then open your windows to allow the smoke to go out.
  5. If the fire goes out, be careful when you open the oven door. Have your fire extinguisher handy in case of the fire flames up. Opening the door may be smoky. After the pan has cooled remove the container.
  6. Let the smoke to clear before determining the cause of the fire and possibly resuming cooking. If you used your fire extinguisher, the oven would need to be decontaminated.
  7. I recommend getting a pro to check your oven before use. You don’t want to turn it back on and set your kitchen on fire!

How to Avoid An Oven Fire

  1. Keep your oven clean. Making sure your oven is clean before use prevents the potential of a fire.
  2. Never leave cooking food unattended.
  3. If making cakes or pies, put a larger baking tray underneath your baking pan or cupcake tin to catch any spillage.
  4. Cover on food that might splatter. When roasting or broiling, carefully drain some of the hot greases by removing the pan from the oven every half-hour or so. Be extra careful not to spill the grease!
  5. Check it out! Your oven can be checked out by a professional. This will make sure it is working correctly.

Photo Attribution: Ingrid Barrentine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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