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:


  1. Great advice Shellfish! Espesially about naming the extinguishers... never thought about that one before. And I can't believe you got to thjis one before Safetyboy did!

    Glad to hear the Ricecake Incident didn't escalate into anything catastrophic.

  2. Thanks Stridin' Ha! Safetyboy would have had to find is glasses firstly, then methodically read the instructions on the extinguisher, find the ring at the top--cross referencing back to the instructions, and then decide to have a go! Whereas I tend to be "braced for danger" at all times and had practiced what I'd do in my mind frequently. He did make an "Ahhh!!!!" sound when he turned to see what had caused me to make an "Ahhh!!!!" sound but by then I had The Squirter aimed at the 10 year old $8 engulfed toaster. He did manage to root me on and quietly said "go" and has been praising my speedy reaction all day!

    Yeah! Name 'em, dress 'em in cowboy costumes or simple black cocktail dress and heels--just make friends with 'em. That's my message to the world today.

  3. Anonymous1:37 AM

    Whew! Glad you & himself are safe and well.

    ...Man, this is advice I need to take. Here I am playing with butane torches and occasionally sparking metals -- and our one fire extinguisher is in the kitchen on the other side of the duplex. No good.

    Thanks for the playful admonition!

  4. Hi Sven!!! I woulda pegged you for being super preped for fire fighting at Scarlet Star Studios! I imagined you had already taken special training at your local fire house and received certification to act as Parafireman for your whole neighborhood!

    Yes!! get a bunch and rehearse what to do. Sometimes I would quiz Himself as to where "Big Burtha" stands as a kind of insta-surprize fire drill, "ok, there's a fire, where's the Burtha?", "What are our two forms of egress?", "Where our meeting place outside?" etc. (I think I learned that last one from the Brady Bunch as a kid!)

  5. Anonymous7:46 AM

    Wow, so glad it didn't develop into something horrible! Thanks for the info, not enough people take these precautions...

  6. Ah, Shelley, you seem a bit accident prone, eh? If for some reason Big Burtha the Cowgirl can't help, at least you know your fire department ;)
    Glad it was only ricecakes, and not something more serious...
    ...sounds like a cereal box comic strip -- Shelley Safety and the Ricecake Incident, featuring the first appearance of Parafireman Sven...

  7. Thanks Ulla, Do you keep one in the shop upstairs?

  8. UbbieTubbie, you are right. I don't know if life got more exciting since I started blogging or if it always was and I just notice it now because I'm posting!? Dra-ma. But thankfully nothing truly terrible.

    "Let's all be careful out there. Parafireman Sven, let's roll. And no rice cakes for lunch today."
    (tv giggles on laugh track)

  9. Anonymous9:40 PM

    I'm happy to report that we just today got two more fire extinguishers. One for the main studio area (we play with a lot of candles) -- and one for Studio Sven, where I play with the blowtorches...

    Thanks again, Shells!

  10. Sven Dewd, I am completely DELIGHTED!!! that you added these two latest footsoldiers to your household. Holy smokes. Are you going to dress yours' up in costume and/or decorate them with a suitable motif for their faithful service at Scarlet Star Studios?

  11. I've got one near at hand (no name or costume yet) and right next to it a hand-cranked radio/flashlight for those occasioanl power failures. Too bad i can't hand-crank the computer and keep it going in the dark.....

  12. Hey Shellage, check out the way this guy made his walls: TheDeadlyDeaths. These can be clamped or screwed in place on the set, and removed when needed. Nice new blog too.

  13. um, shelley, did you actually stop to take a picture of the flames before you grabbed the fire extinguisher? :D

  14. Hi Y'all, we just got back from taking the dear folks to LAX, a few tears were shed but very pleased and happy they had such a wonderful trip all around.

    Now back to action...

    Gretchin, noooooo.... I'm not THAT crazy! I used Google images to fill in the story. I typed; "small kitchen fire" or "engulfed toaster" (kidding) and I had my choice. (That's how I got the travel shot of the road to Vegas, to show you all the alien the landscape that freaked me out, without having my own camera with me.)

    Next stop; the new blog Mike linked!!!.... Thanks already Mike!!

  15. That was a great new blog, Mike. The set walls are clever to be sure BUT I have placed the added burden on my set of it having to look like an art exhibit for the most part with very little concession to it being a film set. When my cottage is assembled it must look like a complete 360 degree, scale, tree/cottage on a landscaped hill. When I film I will remove (slide up and out) one or more walls to film inside. By the time the cottage scenes are done the cottage will have been seen from all 360 degrees. Then, when the whole film series is complete, the set will be installed in an art gallery next to a small semi-darkened area featuring a cinema screen with the film looping in front of benches. Such is my plan.

  16. I covet one of those hand-crank/solar-power option emergency radios! That's another really good move, getting one of those in. I'll save up. A good pantry is smart too. We keep about two months worth of foodstuffs and water here in case total self-sufficiency is ever required at some point. In case earthquacks and terrorism, hell--just gas prices, cuts us off from food distribution. Himself says I'm like the SNL character "Debbie Downer" (wump wump woompf sound cue)

    **A happier welcome to new visitors here from Taiwan, Brisbane; Australia, US states; Wisconsin, Wyoming, Arkansas, and happy that finally Louisiana seems to be showing up (I don't know why it didn't register earlier as I know someone from there stops in regularly.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...