Tag: spray extinguisher

Kitchen fire! Quick, put it out!


Suddenly, Thanksgiving is just a week away! I’m remembering some of our own family Thanksgivings, including two bad ones that featured cooking fires. One fire was in a deep-fryer (fortunately outside). One was in a toaster oven right in the kitchen. Both after much drama and flailing about, fires were safely extinguished. The memory was a reminder: Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires! (What’s the second most dangerous day for cooking fires, you ask? Take a guess. Answer is below!)

In past years we have done lots of research here at Emergency Plan Guide on fire extinguishers. Of course, we’ve tested real fire extinguishers at CERT trainings. At our neighborhood meetings, we’ve enjoyed trying out different types of extinguishers — even a digital fire extinguisher designed to train professionals. One of our best meetings was built around BYOE – Bring your own extinguisher, with guest speakers from the fire department. (It was embarrassing to find out how old some of the extinguishers were!) Some photos from those meetings . . .

Today I want to introduce two NEW FIRE EXTINGUISHERS that we’ve never written about before!

First: Fire Extinguisher Spray in a Can

Since half of all house fires start in the kitchen, having a way to IMMEDIATELY PUT OUT A KITCHEN FIRE is imperative!

Yes, Joe and I have an extinguisher in our kitchen. (And we put one in his daughter’s house after that ill-fated toaster-oven fire.) But a regular extinguisher is relatively heavy. Gotta reach up to pull it out of the mounting, get a good grip to break the plastic tie, then pull the pin, aim, squeeze – you know the drill.

Consider this alternative. A simple spray can sitting right there on the shelf. Small, easy to grab, easy to activate. Fire in a pan? Grab the can extinguisher, spray until the can is empty – and the fire is out. Fire in the toaster? Grab, spray until the can is empty – and the fire is out.

Because they have limited capacity, I wouldn’t consider spray extinguishers as a replacement for “real” 2 or 5 lb., ABC portable fire extinguishers. And as with any fire that expands to be larger than a foot high, you need to call the fire department. But if you can catch a fire right away, a spray extinguisher could save your kitchen — and your turkey!

These spray extinguishers are suddenly being promoted everywhere – with plenty of test reports, customer reviews, etc. Right now, this is the model I’d consider. The image shows just how small the can/canister really is. Amazon offers a 5-pack, which is also what I’d recommend. One in the kitchen, one in the garage, one in each car, maybe one near the fireplace. Prices are amazingly good this week thanks to Black Friday promotions! Here’s the direct link.

Second: Fire Blanket

This second extinguisher has also burst onto the market in large part because of battery fires. While most blankets are designed for one person to handle, probably in the kitchen, I’ve seen some amazing videos where two fire fighters, armed with a giant and very heavy blanket, pull it over a whole electric car in order to put out a battery fire!  (It takes hours for a car fire like that to be extinguished, even with the blanket.)

For our holiday planning, we don’t need a giant heavy thing. Popular blankets are about a yard square, easily handled by any adult and most children. The blankets come folded inside a package meant to be hung on the wall. The blanket itself is made of thin fiberglass material; you shake it out just like you’d shake out a tablecloth.

Fire on the stove? Pull your fire blanket from its package, shake it out, lay it over the fire so the flames are completely covered. Done.

The purpose of the blanket is to suffocate the fire.

As with the spray extinguisher, you need to put the blanket to work immediately, while the fire is still small. If you delay until the fire is too big, the blanket won’t be able to suffocate it.

I am recommending the Prepared Hero blanket below for a couple of reasons. First, the company makes more than just one size so you have choices. Most useful, however, are the company-supplied videos on Amazon’s sales page. Watch those videos! (These still sales photos don’t do the blanket justice!)

Once again, if this makes sense for you, get several blankets. One for the kitchen, the BBQ area, the garage, the car. Click here to get to the sales page, the videos, and to check options and prices.

Now, if you are hesitating as to whether you need more extinguishers, it would be worth it to check the ones you have. If they are over 10 years old – they need to be replaced! Do you see dents, scrapes, or rust? Your extinguishers need to be replaced! If their pressure readings are low – they need to be replaced!

This is a good time to review your whole fire preparedness plan.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. And did you guess correctly about the second most dangerous day for kitchen fires? Sure enough – it’s CHRISTMAS DAY! So be prepared for that day, too!