Monday, July 17, 2006
The rice cakes caught fire in the toaster (remember, it's California) during breakfast prep this morning. I had rehearsed for such a moment and automatically pulled the pin on the extinguisher kept in the kitchen named, Lil' Squirt, for just such an occurrence.
He sure did his job as the two foot flames were smothered out immediately. We have been very grateful all day that it didn't turn into to something dire here. If we hadn't noticed the fire while it was small, many other items would have also surely ignited. That's what happens to many families every year. Kitchen fires are a leading cause of home fires in the United States with often devastating results. So please make certain that you have working extinguishers in various places throughout your home too today. Name them, make it fun as well as vitally important.
We keep "Big Burtha" by the bed for night fires, we'll get a replacement "Lil' Squirt" for the kitchen FOR SURE!!, and I have "Guardian" strapped to the Halfland set where I'll be ready should something happen with the hot glue gun or other equipment. Get one for your home and shop and maybe even car and be ready to use it--- without trying to read while the sight of flames makes you lose your ability to comprehend English, which is what happened to me once several years ago. Believe me, stopping to read the instructions during a fire? Total panic.
The rest of the day has been spent cleaning up the super fine toxic dust the dry chemical extinguisher left behind in its brief yet effective two second blast. There was plenty of smoke throughout the large home and a dusting of mica, etc. over a 400 square foot radius around the toastal arena.
Please Practice the following in your mind...
Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
Aim at the base of the fire not the flames. This is important - in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.
Squeeze the lever slowly.This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.
Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher - different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!!!!
Find out more from this excellent flash site: http://www.fireextinguisher.com/