LFR gives tips on fire safety ahead of National Fire Prevention Month

Never use water or flour on a grease fire
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:06 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock Fire Rescue is gearing up for October: National Fire Prevention Month.

A fire can start at any moment during daily tasks, especially cooking. Lubbock Fire Rescue wants to point out simple mistakes that could lead to a fire in the home.

Lubbock Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Derek Delgado stated cooking fires are the biggest cause of reported house fires in the United States. He said most cooking fires are accidental, caused by distractions in the home.

“When people start cooking and then they go and watch TikTok or they watch a video or take a phone call and take their attention away from cooking,” Delgado said.

A simple look away can cause a grease fire, but it is preventable.

“Simply preventing a grease fire, is not overfilling your pan with grease,” Delgado said. “It’s gonna then spill over onto whatever the heat source is and start a fire that way.”

If a fire does break out within the home, Delgado stated people should first call 911 and turn the heat source off. First responders will be heading to the location as people attempt to put out the fire.

“The rule of thumb is if you can’t extinguish that fire within the first 15 second, get everyone out of the home,” Delgado said.

Knowing the proper way to extinguish a grease fire is most important.

“Safe ways that you can extinguish it yourself is simply... placing the lid on the pan, placing baking soda on the grease fire or also using the fire extinguisher,” Delgado said.

One’s first instinct may be to throw water on a fire. However, using water on a grease fire will cause it to spread, making it even more dangerous. Some suggest using flour in place of baking soda to smother the flames. In actuality, flour is flammable and will spread the fire.

Delgado encourages everyone to have smoke detectors inside the home to warn occupants in case of fire and try to stay distraction-free when cooking. People should also keep baking soda and a fire extinguisher close to the kitchen.