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The various fire types and how to control them

Updated on December 6, 2011
Fire is fun to watch...when under control
Fire is fun to watch...when under control

We have been told about the dangers of fire ever since we were kids. We all know that water can kill fires and that it needs oxygen to stay alive. But sometimes it can be a lot worse and complicated than that. In some situations, water might not be the best way to go even that it might make it worse. There are different types of fires that can occur around the house. By being aware of how to control and kill these fires, you might one day be part of the fire brigade!

Cooking fires

This kind is one that can happen anytime. Most parents and couples cook when they come back from work or for a special occasion on a saturday night. The phone rings and it's your mother asking you about something important. It can only take two or three minutes at the phone before you have a situation in your hands.

In order to prevent kitchen fires:

  • Try to cook with a sleeveless shirt to prevent your clothes from touching hot surfaces
  • Always use a pan that is the same size of the burner
  • Keep a pan cover next to you. If a small fire starts you will be able to suffocate it by recovering it
  • DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN...wait did I say not to leave your position while cooking? If the phone rings or if someone needs you and it can't wait, always make sure to turn off burners and to remove pans from the hot burners...even if it's for only one or two minutes. That might be the little window a fire needs to appear. You can also put someone else to check the food while you are gone.
  • Turn the handles of the pans to the inside of the stove. This way there is no chance of somebody, let's say a kid, accidentally tripping the handle and burn himself.
  • If you have a fryer, you can check if it has a thermostat that shuts off the fryer when it gets to a certain degree of heat.
  • Get an extinguisher in the kitchen that can extinguish a fire of type A, B and C. Putting a smoke detector in the kitchen might be a good idea also!

If a fire appears in the kitchen, there are some primary things to do. You should never carry a flaming pan to the sink because by doing so you might extend it to more regions. Don't try to kill it with a liquid because it can create crackling and amplify the fire. Like I said before, the cover of the pan you have next to you can be used to suffocate the fire. Of course, if it gets out of hand and you can't control it, call the fire department as fast as possible.

Fire can be devastating
Fire can be devastating

The electric fire

If the electric wiring of your house is done by a professional electrician then the risk of fire becomes minimal but the menace of fire is still there. There are certain things that must be done and checked regularly in order to prevent an electric fire.

  • Try not to overload the electric plugs; these days everything works with electricity but you should be able to disconnect the ones you don't use
  • If you use extensions to light up your christmas tree, make sure it's approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), ULC or NFPA. Also, if some of your extensions are cut or damaged, don't hesitate to switch them. They are not that expensive and that way you don't have to worry about it.
  • Clean the evacuation vents of your dryer every year. Lint accumulates and over time, heat can't get evacuated anymore causing possibly...a beginning of a fire

If you have an electric fire, the one thing you should NEVER do and that is quite obvious is to use water. Instead, go to the fuse box and turn off the power in the house, call the fire department and leave the house. If the fire is minimal, you can try to kill it with an extinguisher but make sure it is a type ''C'' extinguisher as these are specially made for electric fires.

The ''smoker'' and the candle fire

There are some people who smoke inside, specially during winter and it's perfectly understandable. If you want your house to be fireproof, then you will have no choice but to go smoke outside. Some precautions should also be taken here:

  • Try to keep the lighters away from the reach of children. They are aware of the danger it represents but we all know they touch and play with everything they can.
  • If you use candles in the house, you should choose a model that has edges taller than the flame and place the burner on a stable surface.
  • They should never be left lit. If you're going to bed or going for a walk make sure you don't leave lighted candles or without surveillance.
  • When you empty your ashtray, make sure the cigarette butts aren't lit even if it means to drop some water in it.

Even with these steps, nobody is always too safe and precautious to prevent these. Fire procedures should be set so that every member of the family knows what to do if something happens because the safety of everybody is the first thing we should think about. Fire statistics are high, unfortunately, and let's hope these tips help you not to become a statistic.


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    • profile image

      david 2 years ago

      ok best

    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 6 years ago from Canada

      Kristen Haynie:

      Thanks a lot for voting up! Christmas is indeed just around the corner..yay!! But we have to stay vigilant around the house. I'm glad this hub helped you!

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 6 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Thanks for sharing this information! It can really come in handy, especially around the holidays when the Christmas lights go up and more time is spent in the kitchen. Fires become much more common during the Holidays. Voted up!

    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 6 years ago from Canada

      Dale Mazurek:

      Thanks for the vote. I had the idea to do this hub when I was driving by a burning place. I did a bit of research and stacked the most tips I could together. If this hub can help someone somewhere prevent a fire then it's mission complete!

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 6 years ago from Canada

      This is a great hub especially at this time of the year when everyone is setting up Christmas trees. A hub like this can save many lives. Great work. Absolutely voted up.