Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Extinguishing a Pan Fire

Over the last two years many of you were made aware of a YouTube Fire Safety video from the UK which recommended placing a wet towel over a pot/pan fire to extinguish the fire. I received, and continue to receive, many inquiries asking about this and what I recommend. I was, and still am, very much opposed to this method of dealing with a cooking related pot/pan fire.

Cooking related fires are, by the way, the number one cause of fire both here in the County as well as nationally.

Yesterday, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) came out with a position statement on this method -which I strongly agree with - and I have included it below for your information and reference.

Extinguishing a Pan Fire

NFPA discourages the use of a damp towel to extinguish a pan fire. The damp towel method adds additional time to extinguish the fire – getting the towel, wetting it, and wringing it out. Placing the towel on a pan fire may result in tipping the pan, missing the pan or not completely covering the pan; thus putting the home owner at increased risk for burns, clothing catching fire and the spread of fire. This technique is also questionable because the type of material or a cloth not completely wet could have a different outcome. NFPA recommends staying in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop. Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool. When in doubt, get everyone out of the home and call the fire department.

Thanks and Be SAFE!



George said...

This post about extinguishing a pan fire was cross-posted on the East Silver Spring Citizen's Association (ESSCA) list serv. We wish to thank you for this information and to let you know it was appreciated by a number of our members as well as being forwarded to all restaurants in the Downtown Silver Spring.

Keep up the good work.

George Lane
ESSCA Police Liaison Rep.

billd said...


THANK YOU for passing along to the ESSCA list serv! Please always feel free to pass along anything from our blog.

Thanks again for your help in helping to keep all County resident's just a little bit safer!