Given the potentially devastating results of a house fire, it is essential that every homeowner take precautions to both avoid the risk of fire and to prepare for it in case it does. It is important to regularly evaluate your home and emergency plans to reduce your risk and improve your ability to respond in the event fire were to occur.
Most house fires are caused by or related to cooking, so it would follow that most attention should be paid in the kitchen. Here are a few simple tips:
-Inspect appliances periodically for safety risks, Replace faulty equipment quickly
-Do not leave your cooking unattended
-Do not allow children to cook unattended
-Double check that you have turned the oven/stove OFF once finished cooking
-Make sure you have a working (with batteries) smoke detector in the kitchen
-Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen (replace as needed)
A knowledge of the different types of fires that might occur in the kitchen and how to best extinguish them is also important information for each member of the household to understand.
Grease fires, often caused by grease left unattended on the store for too long, are the most common and also can be difficult to extinguish. The first step would be to ensure the safety of those nearby. Then, turn off the heat source. Water should NOT be used on a grease fire. Instead, if the fire is still contained within a single pan the most simple solution is to put a lid over the pan. This will suffocate the fire and put it out. If the fire has extended beyond the pan, but is still small baking soda may be able to extinguish it. If not, use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Wait for the pan to cool before attempting to touch it.
If you are afraid to go near the fire or aren’t sure what to do, be sure to call for help!