“Hey, what’s that smell? OH NO—the oven is on fire in the kitchen!”
If you’re ever in a situation like this, you know that it’s highly stressful, and it can be hard to know the next steps. Any kind of fire can put you, your family, and your home in jeopardy. You must act fast as soon as you see a fire developing—however, what you do will depend on the situation. This is especially important when dealing with an oven or kitchen fire. The fire could have started from grease, an electrical malfunction, or a similar cause. And unfortunately, not all fires can be put out the same way.
Take some time to read about the steps you can take to safely put out an oven fire.
What Causes An Oven Fire?
Oven fires can spark for several reasons, from common user errors to appliance malfunctions. Grease and oil can quickly cause a flame when they come in contact with an oven surface. But even something like cake or cookie batter can become ablaze if it spills onto the oven.
Oven fires can also be the result of improper cleaning (or lack thereof). The food you’re baking can sometimes escape the pan and accumulate at the bottom of the oven. This usually causes a burning smell coming from the oven but can lead to fires if there’s grease dripping from the pan.
Simple Steps to Putting Out an Oven Fire
An oven fire can be dangerous, but there are things you can safely do to prevent a disaster.
Step 1: Leave the Oven Closed
Your first instinct might be to open the oven door. However, there is a chance the fire can resolve itself. If you remember from science class, fire needs a fuel source and oxygen to continue. Whatever is burning in the oven is the fuel source—opening the door will feed it more oxygen. With the door closed, the fire could go out on its own.
Step 2: Turn the Oven Off
If you can do it safely, shut off and unplug the oven. While you’re doing that, unplug any other nearby electrical appliances or devices. This could help reduce the chances of the fire spreading and causing further damage.
Step 3: Grab Your Extinguisher
Remember, not all fires can be put out with water. Oil, grease, and electrical fires are dangerous enough already—throwing water on them can make them exponentially worse. That’s why all homes should have at least one fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access location. A standard fire extinguisher can be used in most home fire situations.
Step 4: If the Fire Is Out, Ventilate Your Home
If the above steps helped you put out the fire, you’re clear to open up some windows. This will help the smoke and other odors escape safely. It also gives you a better chance to check out the damage.
Step 5: If the Fire Isn’t Out—Call Emergency Services
If the fire is still going or starts to spread, don’t put yourself or others at risk. Call your local fire department right away. Ensure all family members, pets, and guests are safely evacuated.
Read More: What Causes an Electrical Fire?
Can You Put Out an Oven Fire With Water?
It’s not safe to use water on an oven fire. The fire could have started from oil or grease, which means it can spread if water is introduced. Additionally, if you have an electric oven or any electrical appliance or devices nearby, you risk electrocuting yourself. Water is a conductor of electricity, so throwing it on an oven fire could put you or anyone nearby at risk.
What To Do After An Oven Fire
Once the fire is put out, your next steps will depend on the damage. If the fire goes out on its own and is contained inside the oven, you may need to replace it. However, if the fire and smoke spread to other parts of the home, you could be looking at a restoration project. If that’s the case, leave it to the professionals at CTR. We can help you clean up, rebuild, and get things back to normal.
How To Prevent Oven Fires From Happening
- Clean the oven thoroughly and regularly.
- Inspect the oven for grease or food dropping between cleanings.
- Never walk away from the oven when it’s on.
- Ensure the pans you’re using can contain the food, oils, or grease within them.
- Prevent splatter or splashing by using a lid cover or foil.
Is My Oven Safe To Use After a Fire?
If the fire didn’t cause major damage to the oven, you can safely use it. First, you’ll need to thoroughly clean it. You can also give it a test run before putting your next meal in there.
How Long Can An Oven Stay On Before Catching Fire
We’ve all woken up in the middle of the night thinking, “Did I turn off the oven?” In most cases, you probably did. But in case you did not, it’s helpful to know how long an oven can safely be on. There is no specific amount of time that would cause an oven to catch on fire; however, you should not risk leaving it on and unattended for extended periods.
Read More: 7 Reasons Your Smoke Alarm Goes Off Randomly
Call CTR for Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration
If you accidentally left your oven on or something within the oven caught fire and damaged your home, call the fire restoration experts at CTR. We offer 24/7 emergency fire and smoke remediation services in Southern Idaho. Our team has the tools, equipment, and experience to help restore your home to its pre-loss condition.