Thursday, February 19, 2004
What Would You Do: Kitchen Fire
It could happen to anyone -- forget to turn off the stove or leave a meal cooking too long. And every year in this country, more than 300-people are killed by kitchen fires. So What Would You Do if your food went up in flames? The Nightteam's Charles Perez has some answers.
Your preparing a meal, you get distracted, when all of a sudden, your food is responsible for a full-fledged emergency.
"No one ever dreams of anything when it comes to their kitchen until there's smoke coming out the windows of their house," says Fire Chief Harry Small of Pompano Beach.
Pompano Beach fire fighters say they've seen more than their fare share of kitchen fires ...
"The grease fire is the most scary and the most dangerous," says Chief Small.
And almost 100-percent of the time ... the fires could have been prevented.
"You should never leave anything unattended that you're cooking," says Chief Small. "You don't know what's going to happen to you when you're gone. You may be delayed."
So what do you do if there's a fire in the oven or microwave?
"Wherever possible, you unplug the appliance," says Chief Small. "If you can't, go to the breaker and throw the breaker."
Next, call 9-1-1 and leave the door shut. Opening the door could cause the fire to spread.
If, on the other hand, the fire's on the stove top, don't immediately go for the water.
That's what most people will instinctively do.
But watch what happens in this demonstration.
Our flames are out of control.
Look at it again in slow motion.
"If that was your kitchen, the walls would be going ... because that's grease… grease and water, and you've now spread the fire," says Chief Small.
So what do you do in a grease fire?... Well, believe it or not, the answer is probably sitting on the counter right next to you.
Simply find your pan ... reach in and put it on and the fire it out.
And knowing what to do once the fire breaks out could make the difference not only with saving the kitchen, but saving your life.
As an extra precaution, every cook should also have a large box of baking soda and a fire extinguisher on hand...
But, the number one rule ... if the fire gets too big ... just get out.
"When the fire leaves the pan and goes up the walls and starts to spread," says Chief Small, "you're in trouble."
And your life isn't worth the trouble.
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