Fires can happen at any time unexpectedly. Do you have a plan set for you and your family if there is an emergency? Now is the time to think about it and talk before an incident occurs. Run through fire safety prevention exercises with your entire family so that everyone is ready.
What To Do With Different Fires
- Grease Fire: Oils that we cook with all have a different boiling point depending on the fat content. If grease overheats, it runs the risk of igniting into a fire. The first warning sign is that the grease will smoke, then the flames can start if the heat isn’t reduced. Keep a metal lid that fits the pot perfectly nearby. If the fire does start, don’t touch the pot, and DON’T put water on it. Oil and water do not mix, and it will spit the fire around the kitchen, hurting you, and starting the fire in other locations. Instead, try to turn it off so that the heat stops, and place the metal lid over the pot. If the fire isn’t contained, use a fire extinguisher to put out the rest. If it is contained, stay until the emergency services arrive and open the windows to let any smoke out. If it is not contained, evacuate immediately and pull the fire alarm for the building so that everyone is aware that it’s not safe. It may be embarrassing, but it’s better than someone getting injured.
- Electrical Fire: This type of fire can happen suddenly with very little warning. Usually it is due to faulty wiring in the building, or issues with an appliance. Never use an appliance or household product with a frayed or exposed wire. Having an open source leaves you unprotected if something flammable comes in contact with the metal wiring. Simple things like lamps and hair dryers can be a culprit if they are old and outdated. Make sure to always use the correct wattage bulb for the appliance. Little things like this may not seem like a big deal, but they have the potential to start a deadly electrical fire. DO NOT put water on an electrical fire. Water is a great conductor for electricity. Not only will your place be on fire, but you’ll be electrocuted as well. Use a fire extinguisher to try and put out the flames. Turn off the power by flipping the breaker to the entire house. Leave the room immediately if the fire doesn’t show signs of calming down.
- Accidental Fire: If you leave a room and leave a candle burning, it has the potential to wick up and catch a nearby drape on fire. If you do have an open flame in the room, put it in an out-of-the-way place that doesn’t have anything near it that can fall over close to the flame–especially fabrics. If something does catch fire from an open flame, then you can douse it in water. Usually it is best to smother it with a heavy blanket or to use a fire extinguisher to quench the flame immediately. If the fire is caught early, and you are able to put it out, then open up the windows and remove any items that have been burned. Evacuate and call the emergency services if the fire isn’t contained.
As a good measure, test your fire alarms once every 6 months to make sure that they are in good operating condition. Check the date on the extinguishers to know when the last time it was inspected. Talk to your family about how to get out of the building quickly, and establish safe meet up locations outside the building if you get separated. No one ever wants to think about the scary chance of fire, but you’ll be better prepared if the unthinkable happens.