What to do if your stove catches fire - AmericaNowNews.com

What to do if your stove catches fire

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Cooking fires break out all the time, and they can be deadly. We went to a demonstration and saw firsthand how dangerous stovetop fires can be. They double in size every 15 to 20 seconds.

"Unattended cooking. You get the pot on the stove. You turn it on. You got grease frying for chicken wings, french fries. You go to the store because you forgot the fries. You go to sleep on the couch after a late night," said Mike Allendorf, Okolona Fire Marshal.

There's a simple device that can prevent virtually all of these fires. It's simple and not too expensive, but you may have never heard of it. It's called a Firestop.

"On the top is a magnet and all it does is you got your metal hood and just put it up into your hood and it connects into place and it dangles over your burner," explained Allendorf.

When a grease fire flares up, a fire dousing burst of powder comes down, snuffing out the fire.

If there's a fire like this in your home do you know what to do? Many people try pouring water on grease fires which cause the flames to become more intense. When they put water on it, water expands 1,700 times into a stream of steamy fire.

Many people make mistake number two. "Don't take that pot. Do not throw it into the sink because you hit the stainless steel with that grease and its going to back splash on you," Allendorf explained.

That often causes severe burns and sometimes death when clothing catches on fire. Which can also happen if you make mistake number three - reaching through a fire to shut off the knob on the back panel of an electric range.

What you should do is use a cookie sheet or a lid "and just slide it over top of it and let it smother itself out," a firefighter told us during a demonstration. You can also use a kitchen fire extinguisher or something similar.

Most of us have heard of using baking soda to put out a fire, but if you don't have that you can use white flour, cake mix, any dry powder in your kitchen.

If in doubt, the best option of all is to get out of your house. "Truthfully we want you to flee. That's why insurance is there to replace your stove, to replace your home, to replace your belongings. You know, you just cannot replace that life," said Allendorf.

You might think it will never happen to me, but there are more than 120,000 kitchen fires every year in the United States. Some 400 people die and thousands of others are injured.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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