Kitchen fires: Jeff Rossen shows how to put them out (and what NOT to do)

A kitchen fire can turn your home into a deadly trap in moments. Here's the right way to put it out.
by Jeff Rossen and Josh Davis /  / Updated 
Kitchen fire
Would you know what to do?Shutterstock

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Most house fires start in the kitchen, and they can turn deadly in minutes.

Oct. 9 marks Fire Prevention Day and with home fires responsible for 10,600 injuries and 2,630 deaths in the U.S. in 2017, according to the National Fire Protection Association, it's a good time to think about what you'd do if flames suddenly appeared while you were cooking.

David Hamilton, a fire captain in Nutley, New Jersey, showed TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen the right way to react to a kitchen fire.

  • Have a fire extinguisher in your home, and know where it is.
  • When using a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS: Pull the pin; Aim; Squeeze, and Sweep, from left to right, until the fire is out.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire. Water is the worst thing to put on a grease fire; it will spread the fire, not put it out.
  • Instead, pour regular baking soda over the whole fire. Use the entire box. And don't try other baking products like flour; they won't work.
  • Another tip for putting out a grease fire: If you can safely slide the lid of the saucepan over it, that will put out the flames. Fires can't exist without oxygen.

Remember: Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, so keep these tips in mind for your gathering next month!

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