Kitchens can be dangerous places because the heat, gas, electricity, and appliances that you use to prepare and cook food can all potentially lead to fires. In case of a kitchen fire, it’s always best to be prepared so that you can remain calm and react appropriately to get the situation under control. As long as you know what to do and have the right tools at hand, a small kitchen fire can be easily maintained, and this includes if there’s a malfunction with your toaster or something inside the appliance lights on fire.

Stay calm. In any emergency situation, one of the most important things to remember is to stay calm. Panicking can lead to bad decisions, and in the case of a kitchen fire, bad decisions can cause the fire to spread.

The best way to stay calm during an emergency is to be prepared. Know the steps you should take in case of a kitchen fire, and know where your tools are, including your fire extinguisher, blankets, first aid kits, and the nearest exit.

Unplug the toaster. When you notice a toaster fire, the first step to resolving the situation is cutting the power, which will remove the heat source that’s causing the fire. If you can’t safely get to the plug to remove it from the wall, use the fuse box to cut the power going to the outlet.

Smother the fire. Once a fire has been ignited, it needs a fuel source to continue burning, and one of those fuel sources is oxygen. To put out the fire, therefore, you have to smother the oxygen supply. You can smother a toaster fire by:

Covering it with a fire blanket or a large, wet towel

Using a fire extinguisher. Be sure to aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

Dousing it with baking soda or salt. Do not use flour, which can actually explode if it’s heated too quickly.

Exit the house and call the fire department if you can’t contain the fire. When a fire is too large or too out of control for you to maintain, you must immediately get yourself and your family out of the house. Once you’re all in a safe place, call the fire department from a cell phone or neighbor’s house. Don’t try to fight the fire on your own if:

You have any doubts about your ability to contain it.

The fire is spreading and you cannot contain it.

The fire is larger than a basketball.

Replace the toaster if it’s damaged. After the fire has been put out and the toaster has cooled, remove all the burnt material. If there are signs of melting, damage, or problems with the wiring or electrical components, replace the toaster.

Toaster Fire Preparedness

                  Barrett Dick