Woman shares how to handle an oven fire without an extinguisher

Ginella Massa (@itsginellamassa), a mother on TikTok, was able to save her kitchen from a potential fire thanks to a recent video on the platform.

“Thank God for this stupid clock app because I swear to God this lady’s video is the reason I didn’t just burn my house down,” Massa said in her post from Sept. 9.

The video she stitched was originally posted by KC Davis (@domesticblisters), author of How to Keep House While Drowning, just two days before.

Massa’s own stove fire. In Davis’ video about fire safety, she showed an enflamed pan that was inside her oven.

“Rule No. 1: Don’t open the oven,” Davis said. “Fires need oxygen. The worst thing we could do is open the door and let a big gust of oxygen go in there, so we’re gonna wait and see if it goes out on its own.”

Davis had a fire extinguisher on hand in case the fire continued to burn, but she showed that by not opening the oven door, the flame died on its own.

Cooking, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, is “by far” the leading cause of residential fires. In 2021, “fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 170,000 home cooking fires.”

With both videos receiving over 1 million views, plenty of TikTokers were happy to learn a new safety tip.

“This is so helpful to me because i constantly fear an oven fire and YOU KNOW id throw that door open right away,” commented @heresmelissa under Davis’s post.

“Like oh my goodness you just cured one of my biggest fears. Just don’t open it lol,” replied @emiliana924.

According to ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, a fire damage restoration company, Davis did the best thing to handle that situation.

“Oven fires can be terrifying and destructive and are common in residential settings,” wrote company founder Diana Rodriguez-Zaba. “To put out an oven fire, leave the door closed, turn the oven off, and use a fire extinguisher (never water) to put out the blaze.”

For other kitchen fires, Serious Eats recommended using a baking sheet or other lids to cover the fire if it’s in a pan or even using baking soda to throw on top of the fire. If these options don’t work, then a fire extinguisher would be the next option. These options are meant to be used instead of water, which can potentially spread the fire.

“The big no-no in most kitchen fires is to douse them with water, since the majority of cooking-related fires involve either grease or electrical appliances,” wrote Daniel Gritzer for Serious Eats. “Water will often only make a grease or electrical fire worse.”

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