Heading into the Thanksgiving weekend, Vancouver Fire Rescue are putting out a reminder about the danger of kitchen grease fires.
Firefighters say they get calls all the time about pots left on the stove too long and catching fire.
While the automatic response might be to grab some water and throw it on the pot, firefighters say that is definitely not what you want to do.
“Adding water to a grease fire can have catastrophic results,” says Vancouver Fire Rescue Chief Jonathan Gormick. “The water is heavier than the grease, it sinks down into the hot oil, but it also boils at a much lower temperature. So the water expands, vapourizes, and sprays flammable grease all over the kitchen resulting in a giant fireball.”
Gormick said if the fire is too big and the resident feels they cannot handle it themselves, to get out and call 911 immediately.
“If it’s a small fire, still in the incipient stage, add a tight-fitting lid to the pot and turn off the burner,” added Gormick. “That will eliminate oxygen from the fire and make it go out.”
Vancouver Fire Rescue are called out to between 300 and 400 kitchen fires every year. Twenty to 30 per cent of those calls result in damage to the house and in the past five years, three people have died as a direct result of kitchen fires.