Do you know what to do if your kitchen is on fire? Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know what to do for different types of fires? We talk about this a lot in school, but once we become adults and actually use fire, we tend to put that info on the back burner. (Sorry. That was awful.)
So let's have a quick, really remedial refresher course. Do you know all of this? Yes, you do, and we know that. But it's still helpful to see it printed up. We want you to be safe -- and live to flambé another day.
First and foremost, if there's a fire in your home, get out of there and call 911.
Have a multipurpose fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Get one online, at a hardware store or from somewhere like Target. Make sure you can lift it. (They can be heavy.) Read the directions it comes with. Put it near an exit, so if you have to use it but it doesn't finish the job, you can still get out.
Keep all of your burners, the stovetop and oven clean and free of grease and other flammable debris.
Speaking of grease: Oil, grease and bacon fat -- well, all fats -- are flammable. They have a smoke point, and a flashpoint, too. If fat ignites, tossing baking soda on top can smother the flames. Water will make it worse. If it's a really small pan fire, try clamping a lid down to starve it of oxygen.
Take care of your appliances, since they can catch fire, too. If that happens, and it's possible, unplug it. Call 911. Do NOT put water on an electrical fire, or you could be electrocuted.
Resist making flaming cocktails at home. They're tacky anyway.
If you're in the middle of cooking and suddenly have to leave the room, turn the stove off. The food will survive.
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And of course, please, check your smoke detectors! Replace the batteries twice a year. (Fun fact: It's illegal to throw batteries out in L.A. You have to bring them to a designated disposal location. )
For lots more information on this very serious topic, please visit LAFD.org