Fire Extinguishers And Your Kitchen
Almost half of all residential fires in the United States started in the kitchen in 2013 (49.4%). The vast majority of fires are cooking related, and you need to develop a plan on what to do if an unintended fire breaks out on your stove or in your oven. Here are steps you can take to protect your kitchen with a fire extinguisher, and what you can do to when an unexpected fire breaks out.
Fire extinguishers are an essential item in the kitchen. You want a multipurpose fire extinguisher that can be used on burning greases and oils (throwing water on these fires makes them spread faster).
Fire extinguishers aren’t very expensive, and don’t settle for the cheapest model you can find – they typically don’t last more than a few seconds when fighting a fire. Get the largest fire extinguisher you can handle, and keep it stored away from the stove (a fire could block your ability to get to the fire extinguisher).
You should initially have two fire extinguishers: one you can use to train with and one to always keep stored in the kitchen.
Using A Fire Extinguisher
Firefighters train to fight fires for one reason – so they know how to use their equipment in the best way possible to put the fire out under stressful conditions. There are few things more stressful than watching a fire engulf your stove and kitchen.
You need to teach yourself, and the other members of your household, how to properly use the type of fire extinguishers you have bought for your kitchen.
The best way to train is by starting small grease fires in a pan in a safe area in your backyard, and using the fire extinguisher to put them out. Here is how to use the average fire extinguisher.
- Remove pin.
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire (shooting straight into the pan could send the burning grease flying in all directions).
- Squeeze the handle to send short bursts of the extinguishing material onto the fire.
- Repeat until fire is out (remember, the pan and grease are still hot, so be careful when touching the pan).
Know When to Stop
You should know when to stop fighting the fire and flee. The smoke and heat can increase quickly if you can’t get it out right away with the fire extinguisher, especially in an enclosed space like a kitchen, and if the fire quickly spreads, you need to realize that the best thing to do is to get you and everyone else out of the house.