Home » Home and Family

What You Need to Know About Home Fire Safety

Feb 3, 2008
Home fire safety is an oft neglected part of housekeeping, (and I mean keeping the house up and running, not just cleaning it). House fires are relatively rare, but their effects are generally devastating enough to warrant more than lip service.

Obviously, the kitchen is a place where fires can start. High heat combined with flammable materials (particularly cooking oil) make the stove top a common place for ignition. While these fires are relatively small and contained in a pan, they are easy to handle, but an incorrect response can make them much worse.

While your instinct is to throw water on a fire, this is the worst thing you can do to a grease fire. We all know that oil and water don't mix, and that oil floats on the top of water. So, when you throw water on a grease fire, the water falls below the oil. The intense heat of the oil immediately causes the water to vaporize or turn into steam. When water turns into steam, it expands and rises from the pot, and in the case of a grease fire, the rapid expansion and rising of the water lifts the burning grease from the pot and splatters it all over--on the walls, the ceiling, the stove, the floor, surrounding cupboards, and the person throwing the water. Anything flammable the grease hits will also begin to burn, so instead of a small, contained grease fire, you now have burning walls, cupboards, and a severely burned person.

Instead of throwing water on a grease fire, turn off the stove, grab a wet cloth (or wet a dry one), wring it out, cover the opening of the pot, and wait for the fire to burn itself out.

A similar reaction happens when you throw water on an electrical fire or chemical fire--the super heat creates steam which explodes from the within the fire and spreads it. Electrical fires are also among the most common in and around homes as people do not give electricity the respect it deserves. Overloading your circuits, doubling up power strips, running wires under carpet, or using cords not rated for the load (i.e.: using thin extension cords for power hogs like space heaters) or conditions (i.e.: using indoor cords outside) are among the most common problems.

Chemical fires can be caused by storing or mixing chemicals improperly. Without sufficient understanding of chemical properties, a person can set up dangerous situations without even knowing it. Store chemicals in their original containers, well covered, and outside the home if possible. Fight a chemical fire only if it is small and in a well ventilated place. Often the greater danger from such fires is that they fill the room with fumes that will kill you even while the fire is quite small.

All of the above fires, if caught soon enough, can be fought using a common ABC fire extinguisher. The A, B and C refer to the fires that can be put out by the extinguisher; A being common flammable materials like wood and paper, B being combustible liquids like grease and gasoline, and C being electrical. Keep 1 or 2 good size fire extinguishers around your home. Be sure to keep them near the exit of a room, so that you could fight the fire from the exit rather than putting the fire between you and the exit or having to get around the fire to get to the extinguisher.

Even after taking all the necessary precautions, make sure to keep your smoke detectors in working order (yes, that means changing the batteries every six months) and have a plan for your family to escape the home in case of fire.
About the Author
Jeremy teaches people how to correctly load and install hitch cargo carriers and is also an expert on towing with motorcycle trailer hitches.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 177
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources