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Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the Coronavirus, and we wish to express our utmost gratitude to the healthcare professionals working tirelessly to care for our community

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The Most Common Cause of Kitchen Fires Is Right Around the Corner

Posted on Monday, November 25th, 2019

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s easy to get distracted with your to-do lists, gift purchases and all those relatives filling up your house. However, those distractions can lead you to stray from the stove when cooking. It’s a distraction that can lead to tragedy, as an unattended stove is the number one contributing factor in cooking fires and deaths. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for kitchen fires, so be sure to follow Coker Law’s lifesaving steps to make sure you have a safe, happy holiday this season.

How To Pick the Right Fire Extinguisher

Having the correct equipment is a crucial part of fire safety. Fire extinguishers can save lives and property by either putting out a small fire in your home, or suppressing it until the fire department arrives. Here are three tips to make sure you select the right fire extinguisher for your home:

  • Ensure that the fire extinguisher is marked “listed” and “labeled” by an independent testing laboratory such as FM (Factory Mutual) or UL (Underwriters Laboratory).
  • There are different fire extinguishers for different kinds of fires. Select the one that is appropriate for your situation.
    • A is for use with ordinary materials like cloth, wood or paper.
    • B is for combustible and flammable liquids.
    • C is for electrical equipment.
    • D is used for flammable metals and usually only found in factories.
    • K is for use with cooking oils and appliances.
  • An extinguisher’s rating number is listed before its designated letter. The higher the rating number, the more fire it can put out. As the rating goes up, so does the weight of the extinguisher. Make sure you will be able to hold and operate the fire extinguisher before you buy it.

You need to be sure your fire extinguisher is ready to go in case of an emergency. Most fire extinguishers will be operable for 5-15 years depending on the manufacturer, but it’s important to check periodically to make sure it’s still functional and charged. If the needle does not fall in the green area on the pressure gauge, the fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. Here are some of the best rated fire extinguishers of 2019.

Operating a Fire Extinguisher

In the event you have to use a fire extinguisher, it’s important to know the proper way to use it to ensure you and your guests’ safety. When operating a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the lock.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Different Types of Kitchen Fires

When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act quickly to keep it from getting out of control.

How you handle a fire depends on the type of fire:

  • For oven fires, turn off the heat immediately and keep the oven door closed. The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
  • For microwave fires, keep the door closed and unplug it if you can do so safely. If the power is off and there’s no oxygen getting in, the fire will die.
  • Do not use water for grease fires! For a small grease fire that starts in a pan or skillet, use an oven mitt to slide a lid over the pan then turn off the burner on the stove. The lid on the pan will cut off the oxygen to the fire and cause it to go out on its own.

Coker Law Can Help You

Coker Law wants our friends, family, clients and colleagues to have a safe and happy holiday season. If you’re injured by a kitchen fire, you may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with a Coker Law attorney or for more information, call (904) 299-0808 or click here to schedule a free consultation.