Emergency in the Kitchen!

29 Jun

I seriously just saw my life (or, more precisely, the contents of every bank account from now until about 10 years from now) flash before my eyes.

I was cooking EGG WHITES on the stove (of all things) and threw some olive oil in the pan, since they’re stainless steel, and it ignited into flames. I foolishly thought it could be tamed with water (which is the worst idea ever evidently) so the fire grew and the flames were licking the ceiling. I thought, well, this is it! I’m going to burn this place down! On the hottest day of all time! And this is Oklahoma so the wind will sweep this massive fire down the plain and everything in all apartments everywhere will be lost!

Then the smoke alarm went off and by the grace of something larger than me, the fire died down and I was able to open all the windows, turn on all the fans, and call the front desk to tell them not to alert the fire department. Eventually the smoke alarm stopped and I was left shaking.  Although in time I was able to cook them, I could never bring myself to actually eat the stupid eggs.

Lessons learned today:

  1. Olive oil heated to a high enough temperature is extremely flammable (oil is combustible… who knew?)
  2. Water only makes the situation worse
  3. Under the influence of adrenaline, my brain is basically useless
So, here’s the deal. If an oil fire starts in the kitchen, the best option is the deprive it of oxygen. Smother it! Don’t feed it with panicky hot breath and a douse of water! Here are some ways to put out a grease fire (c/o my father and a quick Google search):
  • Cover it with a lid
  • Throw a good amount of baking soda, flour or salt on it
  • Use a fire extinguisher
Now I am going to spend the rest of the day on edge and paranoid that something in my apartment is going to suddenly burst into flames. Excuse me while I go study the instructions on our fire extinguisher for a few hours.
**Edit: After a thorough search of the dwelling, I have come to the conclusion that we don’t actually have a fire extinguisher. Perhaps this needs to be remedied.
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