Why are we sharing this valuable information? Because we inspect homes regularly where the smoke detectors are no longer working. My mother (Chuck) was killed in a house fire three summers ago. It’s a tragedy that could have been prevented. During Fire Prevention Week, October 6 through 12, the National Fire Protection Association has some good tips. Read further, and then be proactive in protecting your home from a fire.

  • Remember that fat and oils are flammable. Most kitchen fires, and fires that burn down restaurants, start when someone is heating fat or oil and forgets about it. The oil gets increasingly hotter, smokes, and then bursts into flame. My wife readily admits having done that a time or two.
  • Never leave the room when you’re cooking. It’s easy to think you’ll only be away for a minute or two to answer the door or step into the living room or bathroom, but it could take longer.
  • Do people still have deep fat fryers! Apparently so. Beware of deep fat fryers. Never get liquid near a oil fryer. If it spills, it instantly turns into steam, violently spraying hot oil.
  • Steam is dangerous. Steam is water vapor that is above the boiling point. It can be highly pressurized and is almost invisible, but it causes nasty burns.
  • Have a fire extinguishers available in the kitchen and learn how to use it. The people who service your extinguishers can arrange training.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
  • And of course, be sure your smoke detectors are installed properly and are in good working order.