A popular reality TV show features 16 people living in a house together for the summer. In a recent episode, a few houseguests were cooking dinner when someone in the outside yard had an accident. Everyone abandoned the kitchen to run to the aid of the injured person. When they returned to the kitchen, the oven was on fire! With smart and quick thinking, they closed the oven door and ran to get a fire extinguisher. One person reopened the oven while another extinguished the flames. It was perfect teamwork and fantastic response, which prevented the fire from escalating into a disaster.

October has several National Days and National Weeks to encourage fire safety in the home. The first weekend of October is designated as the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. The United States flag will be lowered to half-staff on all federal buildings on that Sunday. A ceremony is held in Maryland as the official national tribute to America’s fallen firefighters. The ceremony includes a traditional honor guard and bagpipe procession. Each family of a fallen firefighter receives an American flag. 

The first week of October is National Chimney Safety Week to teach people about chimney and venting safety. As we fire up our chimneys in Wisconsin this fall, there are some important safety tips to remember. While wood-burning chimneys can certainly be hazardous, other gas and fuel-burning appliances can create unsafe chimneys, too. External factors also cause dangerous situations, including weather, animals residing in the flue, an aging or damaged structure, and obstructions. 

Here are some tips to prevent a chimney fire in your home:

  • Before you light up the fireplace for the season, hire a professional chimney sweeper to inspect and clean your chimney. Have the professional inspect your chimney structure for holes or cracks where sparks or embers can escape.
  • Use only dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace, and don’t burn trash or other items.
  • Remember to open the flue and make sure your fireplace gets sufficient air to allow proper burning.
  • Use a fireguard in front of your fireplace to protect against hot embers popping into the room.
  • Extinguish all hot embers before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Wait until ashes are cool to clean them out, and then deposit them into a metal container.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your fireplace and working smoke detectors on every level of your home.

The 2021 National Fire Prevention Week starts on October 9. Its purpose is to remind us to take precautions to prevent fires in the home and make a safety plan for emergencies. Making a home fire safety plan includes installing smoke detectors in multiple locations around the house. Check them regularly to be sure they are working correctly and replace the batteries often. Purchase a fire extinguisher and place it in the kitchen or in a location you can access quickly. Read the instructions for the extinguisher and watch videos on how to properly operate it so that you will be able to use it when needed.

In the case of our reality show houseguests, they were most likely dealing with a grease fire in the oven. Never leave cooking food unattended in the kitchen. If a grease fire starts, cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet and turn off the heat source. If it’s small and manageable, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire. Do not try to extinguish the fire with water because grease makes water splatter and will burn you or spread the fire. If necessary, spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher, which is used to smother and extinguish flammable liquids such as alcohol, ether, oil, gasoline, and grease.

For more great tips and suggestions for your home fire safety plan, visit the Turnkey Homes, LLC blog at turnkeyhomesllc.com/blog. Turnkey Homes is the Appleton-Green Bay area’s premier custom home builder. Talk to us about building your custom home or renovating your property. Call us at (920) 470-4315 or contact us through our website at turnkeyhomesllc.com/contact-us.