University of Southern Indiana

Kitchen Fire Safety

fire extinguisher kitchen stove put a lid on stovetop fires microwave fire

Be Safe Cooking

Do you know where your fire extinguisher is located?

A fire extinguisher should only be used on small, contained fires and only if it can be done safely. If you have doubt, evacuate.

  • Pull safety pin from handle.
  • Aim at base of fire.
  • Squeeze the trigger handle.
  • Sweep from side to side at base of fire.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy or drowsy.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of anything that can burn.
  • Do not move the pot or carry it outside. Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

 Apartment Residents

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

Turn the heat off. Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
Cover the pot with a metal lid. Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
Pour on baking soda. Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
Spray the pot with a fire extinguisher. This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
Get out and call Public Safety. If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero.
Whatever you do, do not use water! Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire.

Residence Hall Residents

Microwave Safety

  • To minimize risk of fire, never attempt to heat articles that are not approved for use in microwave ovens.
  • Read and follow food package heating instructions. Common fire alarms in residence halls are from not
    following heating instructions for ramen noodles, popcorn and Easy Mac.
  • Remove food from packaging before defrosting in a microwave oven. Do not use plastic storage containers, foam trays and plastic wraps in
    microwave ovens because they are not heat stable at high temperatures.
  • Do not leave a microwave oven unattended.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately. Never open the oven door until you are absolutely certain that the fire is out.
  • Use only microwave-safe utensils. The instructions that come with each
    microwave oven specify what kinds of containers are safe to use and how to test the suitability of materials before use.
  • Be careful when heating liquids in the microwave oven. Since the containers may only feel warm, rather than hot, they are sometimes handled with less caution. This can easily result in the splashing or spilling of a scalding liquid.​

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