With a range of electrical appliances, closely packed wiring, cooking gas and lots of flammable items, a home has all the ingredients for fire to start and spread. Add to that human carelessness and forgetfulness, and the chances of fire increase manifold. It explains why more than 400,000 home fires are reported across the US every year.
So, what can one do to tackle home fires? How can the fire be put out if fire extinguisher is not available? How can we put out fires using household items? Well, for small fires, it may be possible to extinguish them using household items. However, keep in mind that every fire is different. So, it needs to be dealt accordingly. Here’s how you can use household items to put out fire.
Salt – Salt is readily available in every home. Salt can be used to manage various types of fires such as oil-based fires, wood fires, etc. You need to use adequate quantities of salt, so that a thick layer can be formed over the source of fire. Salt will form a layer over the source of fire and deprive the burning fuel of oxygen. This will help reduce the fire and eventually put it out. Salt has high melting point, so it won’t be impacted by the fire.
Baking soda – This is another item that is commonly available in households. Baking soda is probably the most versatile, as it can be used for most types of fires such as oil-based fires, chemical fires and electrical fires. Baking soda can extinguish fire, as it releases carbon dioxide when heated. Carbon dioxide cuts the supply of oxygen, which in turn extinguishes the fire.
Water – For ordinary fires such as wood, furniture, clothing, and upholstery that do not involve any oil, chemical or electrical fires, you can rely on water to douse the fire. Rather than using a large bucket that can miss its target, it will be better to use a garden hose pipe. This way, you can guide the flow of water to the exact spot where it’s needed.
Lid – While cooking something, if the pan or cooking vessel catches fire, you can simply use a lid to cut off oxygen supply. Never use water on oil-based, chemical and electrical fires, as it can cause the fire to spread.
Wet towel – A wet cloth or towel can be useful in putting out some types of small fires such as oil-based or gas-based fires. The underlying factor is that a wet cloth will cut out oxygen supply, thereby extinguishing the fire.
It is to note that all things listed above should be used only to control small fires. If the fire has spread, it will be better to get out of the house and call the fire brigade. Don’t try to tame big fires with household items, as it can be a huge risk. Also, make it a point to keep a fire extinguisher at home at all times.