How to Put Out Grease Fire on Grill: A Quick and Easy Guide

Love grilling? Nothing beats the smell of food cooking over an open flame. But with any flame, there are potential dangers coming with it.

One of the most common hazards of grilling is a grease fire. Grease fires spread fast and can cause major damage or injury. To protect yourself and your grill, it’s important to know how to put out a grease fire.

This article will cover the best ways to stop a grease fire on a grill, such as using a fire extinguisher and dousing a flame without one. After you finish reading, you’ll be prepared to handle any grease fire that comes your way.

Grilling is a fun and delicious activity. But remember that with any flame comes a potential for danger. So read on and grill with confidence!

Understanding Grease Fires

Grease fires are hazardous blazes that can start when oil or grease is heated to an extreme temperature. As the flames increase, the heat causes the oil or grease to continue burning, spreading the fire quickly.

Remember that different oils and fats have varying smoke points – the temperature at which they begin smoking and catch fire. For instance, most vegetable oils have a smoke point of about 450°F, while animal fats such as lard and goose fat have a smoke point of 375°F or lower.

Knowing the smoke point of the oil you are using can help you avoid a grease fire.

Why are Grease Fires Dangerous?

Grease fires pose a significant risk because of their fast-spreading nature and difficulty in controlling them. These fires burn hotter and longer than other types of fires, producing thick black smoke that contains toxins. Without quick intervention, these fires can quickly escalate, causing widespread damage to property and endangering lives.

The NFPA’s 2018 report on “Home Cooking Fires” indicates that from 2012 to 2016, there were approximately 60,100 grease-related fires annually, accounting for 53% of all cooking fires.

These fires caused around 2,800 injuries, 170 fatalities, and $443 million in property damage. Understanding the dangers of grease fires and taking measures to prevent and control them to avoid such catastrophic outcomes is essential.

Why Does Your Grill Catch on Fire?

Grease fires on grills are usually caused by a buildup of grease and fat that has not been cleaned off the grill grates or other grill parts. When the grill is heated up, the fat and grease can reach a high temperature and ignite, causing a grease fire.

Another common cause is when excess oil or cooking spray is used, causing a buildup of flammable material.

Additionally, leaving the grill unattended or using the wrong type of fuel can also cause grill fires.

The NFPA’s 2020 report on “Home Grill Fires” shed light on the factors contributing to most grill fires: failure to clean and any leaks or breaks featured as the primary causes and are more common on gas grills than charcoal grills. Ignition of cooking materials, flammable liquids, or gas was the greatest source of ignition for these fires.


Putting Out a Grease Grill Fire Without Fire Extinguishers

No one wants to deal with a fire while cooking, but if a grease fire does happen on your gas grill, you need to act fast to prevent it from spreading. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher on hand, here are some steps to help:

1. Turning off the Fuel Source or Burners

The first thing to do when you notice a grease fire on your grill is to turn off the fuel source or burners immediately. This step is important because it helps to reduce the intensity of the fire and prevent it from spreading.

2. Smothering the Fire with Baking Soda or Salt

Both baking soda and salt are effective at extinguishing grease fires because they release carbon dioxide when they come into contact with flames. This helps to create a barrier between the fuel (oil or grease) and the source of oxygen, which is necessary for the fire to keep burning.

Remember, you should never use flour or water in this instance, as flour is combustible, and water will cause the grease to splatter, resulting in the fire becoming even more hazardous.

3. Covering the Grill with a Lid

If you have a lid for your grill, use it to cover the grill to deprive the fire of oxygen. This step will help to smother the fire and prevent it from spreading.

4. Using a Fire Blanket

Do you have a fire blanket at hand? If so, it’s the perfect tool to put out a grease fire on your grill. Fire blankets are created out of fire-resistant fabrics and can easily be used to smother small fires. To use one, just cover the flame and leave it there until the fire has been completely extinguished.

Remember, if a grease fire gets out of control, immediately call the fire department and evacuate the area. Don’t attempt to fight the fire on your own if it’s too big to handle.

How to Stop a Grease Fire on Grill Using a Fire Extinguisher

Knowing which type of fire extinguisher to use and how to use it properly can prevent serious injury and property damage.

Types of Fire Extinguishers to Use for Grease Fires

When it comes to putting out a grease fire on a gas grill, selecting the correct fire extinguisher is paramount. In the US, there are five classes of fires – A, B, C, D, and K – and grease fires fall under classes B and K.

There are several extinguishers you can use for these fires, such as A, ABC, BC, and K extinguishers.

  • Type A extinguishers are great for class A fires, which involve ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth. However, they contain water, so never use them on class B or C fires, as they could cause the fire to spread or electrocute the user.
  • Type ABC extinguishers are more versatile, as they can be used on classes A, B, and C. They contain dry chemicals, such as monoammonium phosphate, which extinguish the fire by interrupting the chemical reaction. While they are effective for most fires, they can leave a residue that can be difficult to clean up.
  • Type BC extinguishers are perfect for class B and C fires, where flammable liquid and electrical fires are involved. They contain dry chemicals, carbon dioxide, or halogenated agents. If a class C fire is in progress, the electrical source should be switched off before using the extinguisher. Otherwise, the fire could re-ignite, or you could be electrocuted.
  • Type K fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put out fires caused by cooking and greases, such as those on a grill. They contain wet chemicals that cool the fire and create a barrier between the fuel and oxygen. These extinguishers are effective for commercial kitchen fires, but should not be used on other fires.

Best Fire Extinguisher for Gas Grill

When selecting the fire extinguisher for a grease fire, make sure it is suitable for class B and K fires.

ABC extinguishers are the most common, but the most effective for this purpose is the K type. K extinguishers contain a special extinguishing agent that forms a blanket over the fire and blocks oxygen, extinguishing the fire quickly.

The size of the extinguisher should also be considered. For small grease grill fires, a 5-pound treatment should do the trick. For larger fires, a 10-pound fire extinguisher or larger may be necessary.

StaySafe 5-in-1 Fire Extinguisher
Amerex C260 Class K Fire Extinguisher
Amerex C260 Class K fire extinguisher

Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher

When using a fire extinguisher to put out a grease fire on a gas grill, it’s essential to follow the proper steps:

Step 1: Assess the Situation

It’s important to assess the situation to determine if it’s safe to do so. If the fire is too large, it’s best to evacuate the area and call the fire department. Only attempt to put out a small grease fire on a gas grill if it’s safe to do so.

Step 2: Activate the Fire Extinguisher

Once you’ve determined that it’s safe to use a fire extinguisher, it’s time to activate it. Hold the fire extinguisher upright and pull the safety pin located on the handle. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not the flames themselves.

Step 3: Use the P.A.S.S Technique

To properly use a fire extinguisher, remember the P.A.S.S. technique:

P – Pull the pin

A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire

S – Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent

S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire is out

Step 4: Monitor the Fire

Even if the fire appears to be out, you should monitor the area for any signs of reignition. If the fire reignites, repeat the steps above until the fire is completely extinguished.

When to Call the Fire Department

Knowing when to call the fire department is crucial in preventing a small grease fire from turning into a full-blown inferno.

If you have tried to put out the fire using baking soda/salt or a fire extinguisher and the fire is still burning, it’s time to call the fire department.

Additionally, if the fire has spread beyond the grill and is now affecting other parts of your home or property, do not hesitate to call for help.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution and call the fire department rather than try to handle the situation yourself and risk injury or further damage.

When you call the fire department, give them your address and a brief description of the situation, including the fact that it is a grease fire on a gas grill.

By providing this information, you’ll help the fire department to quickly and effectively handle the situation.

Preventing Grease Fires

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some helpful tips to prevent grease fires and ensure a safe and enjoyable grilling experience.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of the Grill

One of the best ways to prevent grease fires on a grill is to keep it clean.

Regularly remove grease and debris buildup from the grates and the bottom of the grill. This can be done by using a grill brush and scraper and wiping down the surfaces with a damp cloth or paper towel.

It’s also a good idea to inspect the grill before each use to ensure no leaks or damaged parts could cause a fire.

Proper Food Preparation to Prevent Flare-Ups

Another way to prevent grease fires is to prepare your food properly.

Trim any excess fat from meats and marinate them before grilling. This can help reduce the grease that drips onto the flames, which can cause flare-ups.

You can also use a drip pan to catch excess grease and prevent it from igniting.

Best Practices for Grilling Safely

You should follow some general guidelines to stay safe while grilling.

  • Always keep an eye on the grill and make sure children and pets are kept at a safe distance.
  • Use utensils with long handles to maintain a safe distance from the flames.
  • Keep baking soda, salt, and a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
  • Wear protective gloves and clothing to avoid burns.


Grilling is a fun and tasty way to prepare food, but it can also be dangerous if safety measures are not taken.

It’s essential to prioritize safety when grilling and always have a fire extinguisher nearby, as well as baking soda or salt as a backup.

Remember to clean and maintain your grill regularly, be cautious when preparing food, and follow best practices for safe grilling. Stay safe and happy grilling!

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