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Old 11-05-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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That episode was on last night. In my younger years, I would have been doing that experiment at night in the back yard.....

And should your oil catch fire, the best thing to do is put a lid on the pan and kill the heat.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:18 PM   #12
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As a side story...As kids we wee always taught to never use water on an oil fire. We were taught to smother it with baking powder or a lid or something like that. Well I was sleeping over a friends house and we decided to make popcorn on the stove. The oil ended up catching fire and shooting flames that were licking the ceiling. We ran right to the freezer and grabbed the baking soda and dumped that on the fire. The powder came out of the box in one clump and did absolutely nothing. That is when we started to panic. Even though we knew not to use water, in our moment of panic we didn't know what else to do. I grabbed the spray nozzle from the sink and turned on the water and aimed it right at the fire. I do not know how we got so lucky, but it worked like a charm. the fire went right now. Now I am NOT advocating doing that because I know just how lucky we were that we did not make things 100x worse, but thankfully it worked for us against all odds.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Here is a short clip excerpt from the Mythbuster's episode Greased Lightning that shows what happens when you add water to burning cooking oil (fireballs), and to hot oil below the flash point (1 teaspoon of water hitting hot oil instantly produces about 2 gallons of steam).
...and this is why you are always told to ensure your food is dry before it goes into the deep fryer.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
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As a side story...As kids we wee always taught to never use water on an oil fire. We were taught to smother it with baking powder or a lid or something like that.
Lucky you didn't use baking powder. As I teach the kids who take my babysitting course baking soda = no fire...baking powder = POW! It explodes rather nicely. Bet your guardian angel still has palpitations thinking about THAT episode!
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:48 PM   #15
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Hmm maybe it was baking soda. I can never keep those two straight in my mind. it was whichever one you keep in the fridge to absorb odors
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:14 PM   #16
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Trust me, it was baking soda. You would never forget the results otherwise!
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:23 PM   #17
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What is baking powder anyway? But the best thing to do in the situation like that is to cover fire with lightly dampened towel.
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
As a side story...As kids we wee always taught to never use water on an oil fire. We were taught to smother it with baking powder or a lid or something like that. Well I was sleeping over a friends house and we decided to make popcorn on the stove. The oil ended up catching fire and shooting flames that were licking the ceiling. We ran right to the freezer and grabbed the baking soda and dumped that on the fire. The powder came out of the box in one clump and did absolutely nothing. That is when we started to panic. Even though we knew not to use water, in our moment of panic we didn't know what else to do. I grabbed the spray nozzle from the sink and turned on the water and aimed it right at the fire. I do not know how we got so lucky, but it worked like a charm. the fire went right now. Now I am NOT advocating doing that because I know just how lucky we were that we did not make things 100x worse, but thankfully it worked for us against all odds.
Most likely by the time you two got done stumbling around, the small amount of oil it takes to make popcorn had already burned mostly away and the water overwhelmed the residue.

Just think, if things had gone differently, there may never have been a DC site
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #19
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Well we actually had no idea what we were doing so we used a heck of a lot more oil than a normal person would have. We were making it in a stock pot and we used a whole bottle of oil
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:18 PM   #20
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Fire = heat + fuel + oxygen. Remove any of the three and the fire is extinguished. Firefighters frequently use water to cool structure fires and eliminate the heat element, thereby extinguishing the fire. The water also serves to remove oxygen from the fuel, seperating that fuel from the oxygen rich air.

The problem with grease and oil fires is that in a small scale application, you aren't going to dump enough water on the fuel to cool the fire sufficeintly. And as we know, putting water into hot oil creates massive expansion of the water, in a hurry, which in turn splashes the oil around, allowing it to flash and spread the fire.

In the case of most cooking fires, the best method for extinguishing them is to use an agent that remove oxygen from the fire triangle, hence the use of baking soda, or dry chemical fire extinguishers. Both use a non-flamible powder to seperate oxygen from the fuel. Clamping a lid on, if possible, serves the same purpose.

Another tip that I learned from personal experience, where highly flamable liquid is concerned, if it gets on your clothing, and is ignited, the technique of "stop, drop, & roll" is ineffective for putting out the flame because though the fire smothered between you and the ground goes out momentarily, if there is any other fire going, it re-ignites that fuel still in your clothing as soon as air is reintroduced. I had to lay on the ground, and pull my pants off, turning them inside out as I did so. That extinguished the flames and got the burning clothing away from my skin. I still had severe 2nd degree burns on one shin. It hurt for a long time (many months) and was excruciating. I tried the stop drop and roll and found out within seconds that it wasn't working and so removed the clothing.

I can't stress enough, if you ever spll flamable lizuids onto your clothing, be it congac, or gasolene, remove that clothing as soon as is possible. You dont' want to feel the pain that I felt. Trust me on this one.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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