How to Safely Extinguish Fires
Most people’s first thought when putting out a fire is water. However, not all types of fires should be put out with water. In fact, in some cases, water would only make the fire worse. Here is an easy guide on how to put out specific types of fires:
- STOVETOP FIRES
Kitchens are a hotspot for fires. When you have grease, oil, heat, and/or open flames, it is a recipe for disaster. If the fire is in a frying pan, try to smother it by using the lid of a pot, not something flammable. If the fire is in the microwave, simply turn off the microwave, shut the door, and keep an eye on it.
If neither of these methods work, use a fire extinguisher, not water. If all else fails, call the fire department.
- GREASE FIRES
If you have a grease fire, whether it is in the kitchen or somewhere else, you should NEVER use water or flour to put it out. Flour can make it worse and water does not mix with oil, causing the fire to spread.
Instead, use baking soda or salt. If the fire is still not out, use a fire extinguisher.
- ELECTRICAL FIRE
NEVER try to extinguish an electrical fire on your own. Call the fire department and leave the home immediately.
When putting out a campfire, make sure to let it die down. Quit fueling the fire awhile before you plan on extinguishing the fire. Slowly pour water onto the remaining flames until the embers die out completely. If there is no water source, try pouring sand or dry dirt onto the fire. Not to bury the fire, but to “coat” the flames until the fire dies.
While there are other fires and methods to extinguish those fires, these are the most common. When in doubt, always call the fire department!
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