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In keeping with October being National Fire Prevention Month, PMI Bluebonnet Realty would like to take this opportunity to share some tips for preventing and if necessary, responding to house fires.     

With almost 50% of all house fires starting in the kitchen, cooking fires are clearly the number one source of house fires.  And if the majority of house fires start in the kitchen, then grease is the leading cause of cooking fires.  

Grease is highly combustible and able to ignite even if it is not in direct contact with an open flame.  

Statistically, the number of house fires triples on Thanksgiving Day with 77% of fires resulting from cooking incidents.  To top it off, as the popularity of deep-fried turkeys increased, so did the number of Turkey Day fires by almost 1000 each year.  

So, what should you do in the event of a cooking fire?  

Here are preventative measures that might save your home and more importantly your life.  

  • Never leave items on the stove or in the oven unattended.  This is especially true when cooking foods with grease or greasy foods, such as bacon.  
  • Make sure your cooking utensils are clean and free of built up grease.  
  • Toasters should be cleaned routinely to remove crumbs that can easily ignite.  
  • Never leave toasters or griddles unattended and be sure they are completely cool before placing back into cabinets.  

 If there is a fire:  

  • Always have a fire extinguisher available.  If you need to use your extinguisher to put out a fire, aim for the base of the flames, not directly at the flames.  
  • If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door and turn off the oven.  The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.  
  • If you have a stovetop fire in a pan, use the lid to help suffocate the flames.  Be sure to use an oven mitt to hold the lid in place.  
  • Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Never use flour to put out a grease fire.  Instead, use baking soda or salt
    • Water will cause grease to splatter and spread.  
    • Flour may explode and cause the fire to spread
  • If you can’t control or put the fire out, get out of the house and call 911.  

And if you just must deep fry that turkey, follow these safety tips:

  • Wear fire-retardant clothing.  Do not wear loose clothing.  Wear long sleeves, goggles and use oven mitts to protect yourself against hot, splattering grease. 
  • Never deep fry inside your house.  Place your deep frye3r at least 10 feet away from your home or any wooden structures, to include your deck.  Make sure your fryer is on an even surface to prevent tipping.  
  • Completely defrost your turkey.  A partially thawed turkey will result in flames and oil splashes.
  • Never leave your deep fryer unattended for even a short amount of time.  
  • Always have a fire extinguisher readily available.  

And finally, we at PMI Bluebonnet Realty would like to take a moment to recognize and thank the firefighters and first responders who get up each day, leave their families and loved ones and risk their lives so that they can serve and protect our families.  Thank you and God bless.