We all love wood burning fires or lighting our candles. However, it is important to have respect for the open flame. Fires can become out-of-control and consume an entire home at a moment’s notice! When seconds count, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do to get an unwanted fire under control. It is also important to know how to prevent these fires from happening in the first place!
If There’s a Fire, Act Fast
One of the most devastating things that can happen to a homeowner is when a fire breaks out in the home. Not only can it cause damage to your property but can also cause injury and death. If the flames do not consume a structure, there is bound to be excessive smoke damage.
Home fires move faster and cause more damage today than the past. Why? Home is comprised of and contains more synthetic materials which are more flammable. Today, on average the homeowner has 2 to 3 minutes to escape a home fire, where thirty years ago occupants had 14 to 17 minutes to escape. This means preventing fire in the home is more important than ever and acting appropriately is essential for survival.
Safety First, Second and Last
Prevention is the best policy when it comes fire. Common sense when dealing with fire is the safest frame of mind to adopt to prevent injury and even save lives. Follow the tips for each type of fire to ensure safety is in the forefront of your mind when cooking, smoking, or dealing with electricity in the home.
If a fire does occur, aside from having working fire extinguishers and fire alarms, and establishing an escape plan, there are ways to ensure the fire is contained. Overall remember the goal is to keep it from spreading to other rooms in the house or other houses nearby.
What to Do
Accept the fact that kitchens are dangerous places, period. Where there is food being grilled, roasted, boiled, broiled or sautéed, there is a chance of danger.
- Fire in the oven – Do not open the oven door. Shut it off, watch through the window and wait for the fire to put itself out. Once the flames are gone, wait for things to cool, then open and clean.
- Fire on the stovetop – Smother the flames with a lid. If that doesn’t work, pour generous amounts of baking soda on the flames. If that doesn’t work, use a fire extinguisher.
The best piece of advice is to PAY ATTENTION. 33% of kitchen fires occur when the cook is not attentive to the task at hand.
- Never leave food unattended when frying, grilling or broiling.
- If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove top, even if it’s only for a moment
- Do not wear loose or flowing clothing while cooking
- Make sure all children are at least 3 feet away from the cooking area when cooking
- Turn all handles away from the edge of the stove top
- Store flammable materials (pot holders, wooden spoons, oils, paper products) away from a cooking area
- Have a large oven mitt or lid at the ready to smother small pan fires
- Position grills 10 feet from siding, decking, overhanging branches or foliage
What to Do
Electrical fires are very dangerous especially if water is used to try and put them out. So, the first rule of thumb, NO WATER (water is a conductor of electricity and will make the fire spread). If the fire is small follow these steps to contain it:
- If safely reached, unplug the electrically powered device and/or appliance.
- Use baking soda to smother the flames.
- If you do not have baking soda, use a blanket or other large piece of material to smother it by minimizing the oxygen to the flames.
- Use a fire extinguisher. It has to be labeled for ABC class fires, electrical fires are class C fires, so only fire extinguishers labeled ABC will work.
- Unplug appliances that heat up (e.g. toasters, hair dryers, coffee maker) when you are finished using them
- Dispose of cords that are frayed or worn (e.g. mobile phone chargers, extension cords)
- NEVER run cords (even if they are in perfect condition) under/behind drapes or rugs
What to Do
Prevention is the best policy, so have your chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. However, if you hear excessive cracking and popping and/or a rumble like a freight train is heading for your house, you may have a chimney fire. If this type of out of control fire does break out, call the fire department and do the following :
- Evacuate everyone from the home immediately.
- Close openings, including the flue. Make sure you put heat-proof gloves first!
- Extinguish the fire in the grate with baking soda or sand.
If the wood burning fireplace is used on a regular basis, it is a good idea to have an advanced fire suppressant on hand.
Out of Control Fire Pit Fires
What to Do
If a fire pit fire gets out of control, gently pour water on top of the flames or smother it with sand or dirt. The important thing to remember about fire pit safety is never leave the fire unattended or go to bed before it is completely out.
When it comes to fire, seconds count. Do the above to contain the fire, but do not hesitate to call 911 when fire become out of your control.
When having a wood burning fire in a indoor fireplace, outdoor fireplace or fire pit it is important to:
- Never leave it unattended
- Completely extinguish before going to bed
- Mind children and pets at all times
- Practice common sense decorating during the holidays
- Only burn properly dried wood, never trash, painted or treated wood
Woodchuck Delivery is Your Source for Firewood
Woodchuck Delivery is fully behind fire safety awareness efforts. We want our clients to enjoy a wonderful fire with our dried firewood and prevent fire in the home at all times. At Woodchuck Delivery, we take pride in our products and services. Give us a call at 512.387.7270 to place an order or order online 24/7.