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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Safely Put Out Small House Fires

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Grease fire on top of stove. A pan with grease on fire on top of a stove.

At SERVPRO of Alexandria, we care about our community’s safety. As common as fires could be, we still hope our loved ones don’t ever have to go through an incident such as a house fire.

Let’s talk about small, manageable fires; situations where we can control and keep the fire from spreading. It might be small, but it is important to keep your distance and treat fires with confidence and caution. Here are some tips on how to put some of those flames out.

-When an electrical fire starts, cautiously disconnect the electricity to the source of the fire. 

-Never use water to put it out.

-There are 3 things we recommend you can do to put out the fire

  • Baking Soda. Did you know baking soda is a natural extinguishing agent?
  • Fire extinguisher. Preferably multipurpose fire extinguisher with “C” on the label.
  • Heavy Blanket. Smother it; no oxygen, no flames. 

-Natural gas fires are those types of fires you don't want to extinguish on your own. 

  • If possible, turn the valve off. 
  • Exit the building, call the fire department, and the utility company as soon as you are safely outside.

-In case your oven ignites, leave the oven door closed. Remember, no oxygen, no flames. If the fire continues or is too large to contain, follow the previous recommendations.

Attempted to fry some chicken nuggets and now your pot is on fire?

  • Carefully cover the flames with a metal lid or perhaps a cookie sheet. Anything metal that could cover the pot should work. 
  • Turn off the burner/heat source. 
  • Remember baking soda? Well, it applies here too. In any case, salt is a good option as well. Both white powders are non-flammable and will smother the flames and extinguish them. Do not attempt to smother it with sugar not flour, contrary to baking soda and salt, these will catch fire.
  • As last resort; a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher. Make sure to use it cautiously, the pressure can cause the oil to spread, creating a bigger fire.
  • Do not use water.

Or perhaps you’re out in the backyard cooking on your gas grill and a grease fire starts.

  • Everything from the nuggets incident applies here. 
  • An upside down pot could also work to cover and smother the fire.
  • Pressured fire extinguishers should definitely be a last resort. Do not stand too close, and spray with caution until the fire is out. 
  • Clean the grill with a wire brush to remove any flammable residue, as well as baking soda if it was used.
  • Do not use water.

The City of Alexandria’s Fire Department has some more general safety tips you can follow.

Lesson of the day, keep baking soda, salt, metal sheet or lid, and a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of an emergency. Stay safe Central Louisiana!

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