Everything you need to know about cooking oil fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires, with unattended cooking being the primary culprit. Cooking oil fires, in particular, pose a unique challenge due to the intensity and rapid spread of the flames.

Cooking oil fires are difficult to extinguish if you don’t have the right equipment at hand. The powerful jet of some fire extinguishers could spread the oil fire. Using water to extinguisher oil fires can cause the fire to erupt violently. Therefore, it is important to have the correct equipment to tackle kitchen fires

Tackling Cooking Oil Fires at Home

How to put out a Cooking Oil Fire

Pan fires can be tackled with fire blankets and fire extinguishers. A water mist fire extinguisher is versatile, and therefore can tackle all types of kitchen fire including fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000 volts. A fire blanket is a good option for most domestic kitchens, as generally smaller amounts of oil are used. A fire blanket is placed over the pan fire to smother it and starve the fire from oxygen.

For larger deep fat fryers in your home, we would recommend a wet chemical fire extinguisher which holds a 25F rating. The wet chemical extinguisher is made specifically for tackling larger quantities of oil on fire.

Where to put a Kitchen Fire Extinguisher

In the case of cooking oil fires, having a fire extinguisher within easy reach can be a lifesaver. Mount the extinguisher in a visible and easily accessible location, away from the stove but still within close proximity to the cooking area. We recommend placing your fire extinguisher near the kitchen exit, ensuring a quick and unobstructed path to safety. Avoid placing it too close to potential fire hazards, such as curtains or wooden cabinets.

Tackling Cooking Oil Fires at Work

If you work in a commercial kitchen with deep fat fryers, a wet chemical kitchen fire extinguisher is usually recommended. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put out cooking oil fires and therefore should be kept in kitchens for commercial use. The wet chemical fire extinguisher forms a foam blanket on top of the oil which stops the supply of oxygen, therefore extinguishing the fire. Fire blankets are also a useful addition in a commercial kitchen as they can be used on pan fires, cooking oil fires, waste basket fires and also clothing fires.

What to do in a Kitchen Fire

  • Stay calm
  • Turn off the heat source (if possible)
  • If the fire is not too big, use your fire extinguisher or fire blanket to try and extinguish the fire 
  • Call emergency services
  • Move anything else that could catch fire away from the burning oil if you can
  • Make sure children and pets do not come near the fire
A man cooking starts a cooking fire.

How can Cooking Oil Fires be Prevented?

To avoid cooking oil fires, never leave cooking unattended and pay attention to cooking pans and deep fat fryers at all times, especially when cooking with oil. Keep the area clean from grease buildup, as accumulated grease can be a potential fuel source for fires. In the event of a small grease fire, never use water to extinguish it. Instead, cover the pan with a fire blanket or use a fire extinguisher for kitchen fires. By adopting these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of cooking oil fires and enhance the overall safety of your kitchen.

For further advice on fire prevention in your home, complete the Home Fire Safety Check. Get personalised tips and a fire safety action plan to help you and your family to stay safe.

Pancake Day Safety Tips

What is pancake day?

Pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, is a Christian traditional feast that takes place just before Lent. Across the world every Shrove Tuesday, thousands of people cook and eat pancakes. Pancakes are easy to make, and many children will get involved in cooking them.

Cooking pancakes is fun for the whole family, but there can be safety risks, especially if children are helping in the kitchen. If your frying pan caught fire, would you and your children know what to do?

Can pancakes catch fire?

Yes, pancakes, and more importantly the oil in which they are cooked, can catch fire. It is all too easy to get distracted lathering your pancake in your favourite topping. It doesn’t take much for a pan with oil to overheat and to burst into flames, so take care when cooking with oil.

Top Pancake Day Safety Tips

Before you get started

Ensure that you have an in-date fire blanket on hand, and that everyone in your home knows how to use it.

Fire blankets are suitable for use on Class F fires (cooking oils and fats), and should be a safety feature of every kitchen.

You will see the instructions clearly printed on the front of most fire blankets, and tutorial videos are available online. You can find more information in our fire blanket help guide.

Before pancake day, we recommend that you go through the evacuation plan for your house before cooking, to ensure that everyone knows to get out of danger quickly and safely.

You can also keep your family safe by ensuring that enough smoke and heat alarms are fitted and working in your property. Why not sign up for Safelincs’ Alarm Test Reminder Service to keep your family safe all year round?

How to extinguish a pancake on fire

Make sure everyone who will be cooking knows what to do if a pancake catches fire:

  • Stay calm and turn off any heat sources if you can
  • If the flames are still just in the pan, cover the fire with a metal lid or a fire blanket
  • If you cannot safely extinguish the fire yourself, evacuate the building and call the fire brigade immediately.

NEVER attempt to extinguish an oil fire with water, as this can cause explosions. This YouTube Video is a useful resource to share with your family.

While you are cooking

Ensure that a responsible person is supervising the cooking of the pancakes at all times.

Pancakes are simple to make and lots of little ones like to get involved on Shrove Tuesday, but parents and guardians should be mindful of the dangers in the kitchen. As with all cooking, open flames and hot pans pose burn risks. It’s a good idea to always have a fully stocked burns kit on hand in the kitchen in case accidents happen.

Turn off the heat in between ‘rounds’, when the pan is not being used.

Don’t leave the hob burning or pancakes cooking unattended

When excitement levels are high, it can be easy to forget normal safety habits. You would never leave the hob on while eating dinner – make sure it is off while you are eating your pancakes, even if you are planning to go back and make more.

Check your cooking area is clean and clear to prevent anything from catching fire.

Messy counters can be a fire risk

Keeping a clear workspace when cooking can be hard, especially with small children around. Even if you can’t keep on top of the floury counters and sticky fingers this pancake day, ensure that the area around the hob stays clear. If you put oven mitts and tea towels down next to the cooking area, this can pose a huge fire risk.

For more top home safety tips, try the home fire safety check. This free tool will help you to identify fire safety hazards in your home and offers clear tips and advice for how to improve safety for your household!

Easy Pancake Recipe

We recommend BBC Good Food’s Easy Pancake recipe for all aspiring chefs!

Enjoy pancake day and stay safe! 🥞

Break the Fire Triangle, Kill the Fire

What is the fire triangle?

The fire triangle is made up of three elements, which are the three components needed for a fire to start and burn: fuel, oxygen and heat. Removing one of these elements will prevent the fire from spreading and causing irreversible damage. Fire protection equipment will help you and your staff break the triangle, reducing potential risks of damage to a building or loss of life.  

The Fire Triangle: Heat, Fuel, Oxygen.

The three elements of fire explained


Heat must be present for a fire to ignite. Flammable materials constantly release flammable vapours, where heat is present, these vapours will ignite and start to burn.

Once a fire has started, heat from the fire will dry and remove moisture from surrounding materials (fuel), which results in the fire spreading.


A fire needs fuel to burn and feed it. Fuel can be in the form of any combustible material such as paper, wood, textiles, oil, liquids etc. Removing the fuel will prevent a fire from spreading or starting in the first place.


Without oxygen, a fire cannot ignite and continue to burn. Oxygen is all around, making this one of the most significant factors of the fire triangle.

How does fire safety equipment break the fire triangle?

Installing fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, can help stop a small fire from spreading. Fire blankets deprive the flame of oxygen by covering it, killing the fire.

Many fire extinguishers, such as foam and water fire extinguishers, work in the same way; either by covering the flame and its fuel to remove oxygen, or by cooling the fire and any nearby fuel, reducing the risk of the fire spreading. Water Mist fire extinguishers deploy a cooling mist, and are safe to use on live electrical equipment up to 1000V, making them an ideal extinguisher for businesses, education, hospitality and the care sector.

Although fire safety equipment can be a useful tool in stopping a small fire from spreading, a fire should only be tackled if staff are trained to use them, and are confident in what they are doing.

Water Mist fire extinguishers are ideal for businesses, education, hospitality and the care sector.

Fire Safety Training Courses

To prepare your staff to effectively extinguish fires, there are a variety of on-site fire safety training courses available. This includes fire safety awareness and fire warden training, as well as evacuation training to ensure that staff can escape to a place of safety until the fire is under control. These training courses will not only reduce the risk of a fire breaking out on your premises by enabling staff to reduce the risk of fire in their daily duties, but also improve responses and outcomes in the event of a fire.

Preventing a fire from starting in the first place is always the best form of fire safety. Encourage staff to keep an eye out for potential causes of fire, such as faulty electrical equipment or hazardous materials, and use flammable liquid storage cabinets to reduce the risk of these flammable liquids igniting.

All staff must be trained to safely evacuate to a place of safety in the event of a fire.

Employers are required by law to ensure that all employees receive adequate fire safety training. Employers must also provide adequate equipment, such as evacuation chairs and evacuation sheets, to ensure everyone in the building can safely evacuate.

For more information about the best fire safety equipment for your business, or to arrange a site survey, contact us today.


Q. What element of the triangle does a fire blanket remove?

A. Fire blankets suffocate the flame, removing oxygen from the fire.

Q. What do foam extinguishers remove from the triangle?

A. Foam extinguishers work in multiple ways to fight fire – the foam spray covers the flame and its fuel to remove oxygen, while also cooling the flame to extinguish it.