Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Gear: Fire Extinguisher

While is is always best to have a fire extinguisher and not need it, it's very bad to need one and not have it. As Mr. Brown says, the fire extinguisher is the only uni-tasker allowed in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.

For those of you that didn't pay attention during fire safety month, usually October, in elementary school; a fire needs four things to burn (the fire tetrahedron): oxygen, heat, fuel and a chemical reaction between the other 3 elements. Take away any of those and the fire should go out. As I mentioned previously, we had a small oven fire in my kitchen a couple of weeks ago. We closed the door to the oven and the fire stopped but when we tried to open the door again, the fire came back. Why? Closing the door deprived the fire of oxygen but opening it again completed the tetrahedron. We probably could have just closed the door, turned off the broiler and waited for the oven to cool down (taking away the heat side of the tetrahedron).

I have two, I had three, fire extinguishers in my house and I know how to properly operate them. They come in different varieties but an ABC will take care of most fires in the home. Be safe, use your brain; it's better to ruin a meal than to watch your dwelling go up in flames.

Please be safe when you cook. - KP

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