What to do When Fire Breaks Out in the Home

By Katie Conaway | Fire Safety
Oct. 82018

We all love wood burning fire and/or candles when the weather gets crisp and the holidays set in. However, it is important to have respect for the open flame. Fires can turn into out-of-control conflagrations 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.

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 injury and death, but it also causes costly damage to the property.  If the flames do not consume a structure, there is bound to be excessive smoke damage in a home fire’s wake.

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.

What to Do in Case of Fire

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.

Kitchen Fires

Accept the fact that kitchens are dangerous places, bottom line. Where there are things being grilled, roasted, boiled or sautéed, there is 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.

Electrical Fires

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. Make sure it is labeled for ABC class fires, electrical fires are class C fires, so only fire extinguishers labeled as such will work.

Fireplace/Chimney Fires

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 (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 (ChimFlex or FireEx) on hand.

Out of Control Fire Pit Fires

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.

Premier Firewood Company™ is Your Source for Firewood

Premier Firewood Company™ is fully behind fire safety awareness efforts. We want our clients to enjoy a wonderful fire with kiln dried firewood and prevent fire in the home at all times. At Premier Firewood Company™, we take pride in our products and services. Give us a call at 203.866.4252 to place an order or order online 24/7.

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