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View Poll Results: Do you have a fire extinguisher mounted on the wall in your kitchen?
Yes 18 41.86%
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Fire Extinguishers
Old 12-27-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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Fire Extinguishers

My sister lives in the woods, and is far from a fire station. I don't even know whether fire engines could make it up her driveway. I noticed that she only had a small BC rated fire extinguisher, and it was down on the floor behind stuff, where no one who didn't know where it was would ever find it. Earlier in the day I had moved a bunch of wrapping paper that was right next to the very hot wood stove (IOW type A paper/wood fires possible).

On the Christmas visit, I held my tongue about her magnets for healing, trips to other planets, friend that does mind-reading of horses, etc, but I did suggest that she get a bigger ABC-rated extinguisher, and mount it where it was visible. She did not like the input, and responded with something on the lines of "What are the odds of a grease fire? Not high."
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:46 PM   #2
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She did not like the input, and responded with something on the lines of "What are the odds of a grease fire? Not high."
She's probably right, if she's storing wrapping paper next to the stove that'll catch fire long before the grease. Looks like she just hinted at her next holiday gift...

I wonder what the most common causes are (after kids playing with matches). I've heard of two acquaintances burned out by faulty wiring but that might just be Hawaii...
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:49 PM   #3
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I think you sister is lucky she has a brother to look out for her and worry about her.

And I agree with the fire extinguisher advice you gave her. As to getting her to believe in and act on the advice, I don't know. Maybe dig up some fire horror stories? Pictures of horrific burn injuries from kitchen fires?

If you got her the extinguisher and found a good place to mount it, would she resist to the point of not letting you do it (or maybe throwing the new extinguisher at you!)?

Or on a more positive note, maybe point out home insurance savings she might accrue, etc.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:57 PM   #4
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Has she had the chimney on that wood stove cleaned in the last decade?
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:57 PM   #5
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I wonder what the most common causes are (after kids playing with matches). I've heard of two acquaintances burned out by faulty wiring but that might just be Hawaii...
I don't know but this reminded me of how my brother's house caught on fire (on Christmas Eve a few years ago). They had just moved in about a week earlier. Had a nice fire in the fireplace and then went to bed. A few hours later the dog (thank goodness) woke them up, and they escaped.

The cause was determined to be wires behind the fireplace had heated up and caught on fire. The previous owner had installed the fireplace himself, and I guess running electrical wiring behind your fireplace is against the fire code. Scary!
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:11 PM   #6
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I wonder what the most common causes are
Cooking equipment 32%
Heating equipment 16%
Intentional 5%
Candles 4%
Smoking materials 4%
Other fire (fire jumping from another house or area fire) 4%
Loss of control of trash fire 4%
Electrical 3%
Clothes dryer/washer 2%
Playing with matches 2%
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Don't have a fire extinguisher. There's a hydrant at the end of the driveway (30 feet from the house); and the fire house is within hollering distance.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:35 PM   #8
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We have 3 extinguishers in the house, and 3 more out in the the workshop. Two dry chem and one CO2, in each. And one of the benefits of having been employed by a municipality, was that we had annual emergency training by the fire department. Among other things, the training included proper use of fire extinguishers.

The only kitchen fire that I've had to deal with, was at the local Thai restaurant. They had sloshed some grease from a deep-fat fryer onto the burner, setting the whole works on fire. They were all running around screaming and hollering something in Thai that I finally deciphered as "FIRE!!!". I saw an extinguisher just outside the kitchen door, grabbed it, and put out the flames.....then went back to my lunch. I would have hated to see the joint burn down before I finished my meal.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:54 PM   #9
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They were all running around screaming and hollering something in Thai that I finally deciphered as "FIRE!!!". I saw an extinguisher just outside the kitchen door, grabbed it, and put out the flames.....then went back to my lunch. I would have hated to see the joint burn down before I finished my meal.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:59 PM   #10
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I've got extinguishers in kitchen and work area in basement that are mounted and easy to reach. Also check them occasionally to verify they are going to work if I ever need them. I've never had a fire myself, but seems a sensible precaution just the same. I've seen my neighbors house burn - fire was too bug for anyone except Fire Dept by the time they came running outside and we knew it was there. Fire Extinguishers make good "house warming" gifts, but you can likely give them anytime if you think someone you care about needs one.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:36 AM   #11
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Don't have a fire extinguisher. There's a hydrant at the end of the driveway (30 feet from the house); and the fire house is within hollering distance.
My house is the same except I have a fire extinguisher mounted in the kitchen.
My theory is...real small fire-baking soda and/or smother it...
getting larger-fire extinguisher...
bigger than that-fire department...
even with the fire department close by, fires expand VERY QUICKLY...I'd rather have the fire extinguisher and not need it!

Piece of mind--PRICELESS
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:52 AM   #12
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I have 3 in the house, 2 in the shop, 1 in the truck and 1 in the camper. None are in the kitchen but it is a small house and the one closest to the kitchen is only 15 feet away. Also have one at the top of the stairs going to the basement and outside the bedrooms upstairs. Shop has one at the door and one in the main work area.

They all still show good pressure on the gauge but are all getting old and I have been think I should start replacing them. I do shake them from time to time when I think about it.

Jeb
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:05 AM   #13
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I have all mine mounted next to the exit doors, so you can go either way, depending on the fire!
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:32 AM   #14
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I have a hydrant in front of my house, my next door neighbor is a firefighter, and the fire house is less than 2 miles away............so I don't have an extinguisher...........
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:01 AM   #15
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So what happens if the waters off, your neighbor is on vacation and the fire truck breaks down?

I have a huge one in the kitchen. Technically its not on the wall because it'd probably rip a stud out. Its under a cabinet near the stove and oven. Then theres one in the closet in each bedroom. Plus one in the garage right next to the garage door, since thats where a lot of fires start.

Installed extra smoke detectors in all the bedrooms and a specialized recharging smoke detector in the garage.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:07 AM   #16
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So what happens if the waters off, your neighbor is on vacation and the fire truck breaks down?
I'll take that chance. We actually have two firehouses, so the chance of all firetrucks being out of commission is negligible.

But, living in California,I would keep about 20 of them on hand, with brush fires a plenty..........
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:21 AM   #17
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The only kitchen fire that I've had to deal with, was at the local Thai restaurant. They had sloshed some grease from a deep-fat fryer onto the burner, setting the whole works on fire. They were all running around screaming and hollering something in Thai that I finally deciphered as "FIRE!!!". I saw an extinguisher just outside the kitchen door, grabbed it, and put out the flames.....then went back to my lunch.
Yes, I saw a similar thing in a cafeteria where I worked. Fire on the grill, most people panicking or standing there wondering what to do, and someone calmly picked up the CO2 extinguisher and it was all over in 2 seconds. It's that experience that makes me want to have a working extinguisher in an obvious location. Sometimes you only have 30 seconds to prevent a tiny fire from changing to a major hassle (redoing your kitchen) or a major disaster (house burns down).

Quote:
If you got her the extinguisher and found a good place to mount it, would she resist to the point of not letting you do it (or maybe throwing the new extinguisher at you!)?
Yes.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:27 AM   #18
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Cooking equipment 32%
Heating equipment 16%
Intentional 5%
Candles 4%
Smoking materials 4%
Other fire (fire jumping from another house or area fire) 4%
Loss of control of trash fire 4%
Electrical 3%
Clothes dryer/washer 2%
Playing with matches 2%
Thanks, that was going to keep me searching for a few days. It affirms my bias against spending large quantities of time preparing meals!

Many years ago the Naval Research Lab took a decommissioned diesel submarine, installed it on their property, wired it with sensors, and lit it off. The results were horrifying because many assumptions had been made about submarine firefighting that had no basis in reality and were likely to get people killed. NRL is still finding creative ways to obtain combustion data from all sorts of flammable objects, especially any new equipment being brought aboard the fleet. Their fire research has made everyone big believers in prevention, not cure. Based on my submarine fire experience, the most dangerous weapon in the U.S. Navy is... lint in the laundry dryer. Next-most-dangerous is shipyard employees with metal grinders.

When we were running the fire trainer at a submarine training command, we could teach the crews everything they ever wanted to know about attacking & extinguishing fires. They'd get to feeling pretty cocky until the instructors shut off the main water supply valves and left everyone standing around with limp hoses (so to speak). It took an average of two minutes (or longer) for the crew's leadership (let alone the followership) to realize that additional troubleshooting would best be conducted elsewhere. By then the compartment, about the size of your average modern kitchen, would be over 130 degrees and warming rapidly.

One of our fire-trainer instructors lived in one end of a quad base house, whose tenant at the other end lit their kitchen ablaze. As everyone evacuated he attacked the fire with a garden hose and kept it under control for the 15 minutes it took to get the fire company in business. It cost him both eyebrows and the hair on his arms because everyone else was driven off by the heat. He was too pissed off about the whole situation to notice the effects.

So those of you feeling comfy with nearby extinguishers, hydrants, & fire departments-- don't confuse overconfidence & blissful ignorance with being ready to put the fire out or with expecting help to arrive quickly. Nothing trumps prevention & avoidance, and I wouldn't get too comfortable about cooking with oil, grease, or deep-fat fryers... especially if you're using a gas flame.

I'm really looking forward to the consumer's version of the home-wiring IR inspection tool.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:29 AM   #19
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Sounds like you've done your job Al. She wont do the smart thing and wont let you do it. Its all in gods hands at this point.

I had a pan of fried chicken catch at the edge on a gas burner and flame on. Fire was shooting about 5' in the air and it was like a jet engine. I immediately picked up the pan as the flames were licking the bottom of the cabinet overhead (it was a downdraft center vent cooktop with no hood). Momentarily a good idea, but long range not so good. I got my wife to open the backdoor and carefully carried my flaming dutch oven outside and set it down until it went out.

I've also seen a deep fried turkey setup spill and catch fire, with the propane tank 4' away and flaming oil running down the hose. We got a couple of extinguishers on it and it settled down. Not for the faint of heart.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:30 AM   #20
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It isn't mounted on the wall, but is in a cupboard. Also have one in the bedroom, and two downstairs.
I also have a fire hydrant right in front of the house. In the time it takes the fire department to get the alarm, reach the house, and hook up their gear... well I just figure if I can take care of it in 30 seconds it will do a lot less damage than if it takes 5-10 minutes.
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