Be Prepared For A Kitchen Fire

It has been three years ago this month I had a kitchen fire and panicked. When the fire got out of hand, all I could think about was calling 911 and getting my dog and myself out of the house. We had extensive fire damage to the kitchen and extensive smoke damage to the entire house. We were out of our house for three months.


As I was reflecting on that experience today, I felt strongly the need to share a few tips with you. The first thing I learned is never, to throw anything on your kitchen counter where you have a smooth top cooking range. I did this as I came into the house with groceries. I then headed to another room in the house to use the bathroom. When I came back to the kitchen, the entire area above the stove top was in flames. I did do the correct thing by calling 911 and getting my dog. I did not remember to use the fire extinguisher, and, to be honest, I doubt I could have put it to good use. Now, I am aware of how to use the extinguisher.

After calling 911, here are a few things you can do. If the fire is contained in your oven, close the oven door immediately and turn the oven off. If it is a small grease fire, put a lid on the pan. Do not lift the lid again or oxygen can start the fire up again. Here are the directions for using your fire extinguisher, read them and commit them to memory. Remove the plastic tie from the handle, pull the pin out and aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Keeping the extingusher upright, move the extinguisher from side to side until the fire is completely out. If this does not work, back yourself out of the room and get out of there. Again, be sure you have called 911.

If you catch your sleeve on fire or any part of your clothing, STOP, DROP, and ROLL by doing this you are taking oxygen away from the fire, so you never want to wave your clothes around. Thankfully, I was not hurt in my kitchen fire, but the months that followed were very stressful to say the least. Even with insurance, we had a large amount of money we had to pay out of pocket.

By Bobbie from Rockwall

A fire extinguisher.
October 24, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Bobbie!

Everything you mentioned is correct but you forgot one very quick and very thrifty way to put out a grease fire, or most any kind of fire for that matter.

One open box of COW BRAND BAKING SODA kept inside your REfRIGERATOR. In case of fire, throw a handful or two directly on the flames.

Years ago, I was living at my Mom's house when our tenant phoned and screamed that her apartment was on fire and that the fire was in the electrical box. When I arrived, two local firemen were standing and looking at the fire, unable to do anything. They were holding pressurized water bottles and the flames were in and around the house's electrical box. Water is the last thing you want to throw on such a fire! I stepped between them, threw the Soda at the flames and when the fire went out, shut off the electric current by pulling down the power handle. It was a good lesson for the young firemen and years later it still makes me feel like a hero.

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October 25, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Bobbie

Well I know how your feel. I have done the same thing, coming home putting my handbag on my stove top and without my little dog alerting me to the fact there was a fire in my kitchen who knows what would have happened to us. I found a fire blanket was so good, lets hope we both have learnt our lesson.

Gail - Adelaide, Australia

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March 24, 20150 found this helpful

After reading this I decided to go get a kitchen fire extinguisher after work! Thank you for sharing your story. It could easily happen to anyone.

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March 25, 20150 found this helpful

I think one of the readers meant if you have a stove or oven kitchen fire, water is a NO NO. Make sure when you purchase your fire extinguisher, it is correct for where you are storing it. They are ABC, indicating use. My kitchen counter has a cooking/grease fire extinguisher on it. Who cares what it looks like when you need to use it. It is on the counter. Know where your pan lids are.

Mine are in a lower cupboard by the stove area... contains pizza pans that work to cover a large area. If you are using soda as your source for extinguishing, you should have about a 2 gallon bucket filled with the soda, if you plan to use this. One small pound box won't do you much good.

You can get commercial sized buckets of this by checking online. But an extinguisher would be cheaper.

I store the basement extinguisher by the washing machine. See it daily, get used to knowing where it is. In a panic, you are useless if you can't remember where it is. Also have another one in another area of the basement.

Sleeping area upstairs... kept in the bathroom on the floor under the light switch. Also one in my bedroom under the light switch.

Along with knowing where the extinguishers are, your CO as well as fire/smoke detectors need to have their home spot, know where they are.

Above all, make sure all have been certified, current, new, they have expiration dates...extinguishers, detectors, etc. Change batteries twice a year as suggested. Your extinguisher should have a gauge which tells you if pressure is good or not.

Communities with fire departments... do not be afraid to ask if someone can check your extinguishers. You don't have to take it to a commercial place. A simply look/check will tell you. Communities often have a day of remembrance to do all these, and the opportunity for public service in bringing your pieces to the FD.

Many of the lower prices extinguishers are not refillable. Keep that in mind when you buy. A $20 one versus a $40 one, means not replacing but refilling.

2 of my kids are firemen, have many other relatives as that too. In the family are EMT, EMS as well. If you are prepared, and practice run your response, know what are bad practices to avoid, you should be safe.

Spring and fall are the times our community does these safety reminders. Also, run through your plan IF you have an emergency like this. We also have severe weather, and so practice for that as well. You can never be too ready.

This does not mean set yourself in panic mode. Just know what to do. And remember, calling on a cell phone does not mean they have your address. Remember your address you are calling about the fire. A cell phone reader can read your number but not your location. (Another son with the sheriff dept!)

Oh, and I have bought these products for family members as birthday and Christmas gifts... better than that sweater someone returns!

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Preventing Kitchen Fires
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LIttle BOy Looking in the Mirror at his Fire Fighter Costume
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Kitchen with oven smoking from fire.
Removing Smoke Odor From Kitchen Cabinets
house fire
Making a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family
Fire Extinguisher
Making a Fire Extinguisher Cover
Halloween Ideas!
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