In an effort to keep your home and our community safe, please share these tips with friends and family.

Around 3 a.m. on Sunday, volunteer firefighters from the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department and the 7th District Volunteer Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire in the kitchen area of a home.

The fire started from grease on the stove, and one local resident was transported to a local emergency facility with second and third-degree burns on the hands, stated Chief Officer James E. LeBlanc of the St. Amant community.

"Cooking causes over 160,000 home structure fires annually," stated LeBlanc, "and is considered the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Of the 160,000 annual cooking fires, two-thirds (66 percent) started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Often, these fires are ignited by grease."

In an effort to keep your home and our community safe, please share these tips with friends and family.

"Knowing how to respond quickly could be the difference between a minor kitchen fire and a devastating disaster," stated LeBlanc.

Thanks again to our volunteer firefighters here in Ascension that continue to respond to their communities on a daily basis.

If a grease fire starts:

1. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Leave the cover on until it has cooled.

2. Turn off the heat source.

3. If it’s small and manageable, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire.

4. As a last resort, spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.

5. Do not try to extinguish the fire with water.

6. Do not attempt to move the pot or pan outside.

Do not use flour, baking powder or other cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt – they have a different chemical makeup and will not react similarly. They will make the fire worse.

It’s also important to remember that three out of five non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victim tried to fight the fire themselves. The most common injuries sustained were burns to the hands and lower arms.

Other tips to think about:

1. Have a class ABC fire extinguisher in your kitchen. It is recommended to have at least three fire extinguishers in your home, in the kitchen, garage and main living area.

2. The most common reason for a grease fire is leaving a hot pan unattended. Keep your eye on it.

3. If grease is smoking, it is too hot. The flash point of a grease fire is 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease will smoke furiously before it ignites, so if you notice smoke turn the heat down immediately.

4. Keep cookbooks, towels, paper towels and anything combustible away from the stove. A grease fire can quickly turn into a bigger fire if it catches onto other combustibles.

5. If your pan does catch fire, the best thing to do is to smoother it. Use an oven mitt and place the lid on top of the pan. Never throw water on the fire or try to run it to the sink or outside.

Contributed by the St. Amant Vol. Fire Department