Coronavirus Update: To New & Existing Clients Learn More ›

Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
BBB Accredited Business

Extinguishing Household Fires

Household FiresSmothering or extinguishing fire in its initial stage is the best way to ensure it does not become a full-blown life threatening of that. However, based on the type of materials that are being burned along with the intensity and severity of the fire will determine the best methods for extinguishing it.

There are tens of thousands of household fires in the U.S. every year, resulting in hundreds of deaths, millions of dollars' worth of property damage, and severe injury. Often times, a home fire is a result of an accident or carelessness. The most common causes of a household fire include:

  • Inattentiveness when cooking, or carelessly placing flammable items around the stove
  • Carelessness when using candles
  • Accidents involving solvents, propane gas and gasoline
  • Lack of care or bad judgment while intoxicated or using drugs
  • Overloading electrical circuits in the house to blow fuses or trip breakers
  • Loose electrical connections
  • Misuse or carelessness around barbecue grills
  • Improperly maintained heating equipment
  • Placing flammable materials including furniture, curtains and draperies too close to heating equipment
  • Improper maintenance of flammable liquids including cleaning agents, fuel, solvents, adhesives, thinners, paints, and other flammable materials
  • Malfunctioning electrical equipment, components and electronic devices
  • Placing electrical extension cords under tape, rugs or carpeting
  • Short-circuits, especially in wet areas such as the bathroom, kitchen or outdoors
  • Improper use of outlets, extension cords and frayed cords
  • Careless smoking by not extinguishing smoking materials properly, or smoking in bed while falling asleep
  • Children playing with fire using lighters or matches

Common Sense Rules Concerning Household Fires

There are specific general rules concerning a household fire that can quickly take hold indoors and outside. When the fire has spread to different rooms, other structures or other areas, or emitting smoke has already reached head height, it is imperative that all occupants are alerted to quickly evacuate the premises. No physical material is worth fighting a fire for, because personal safety always comes first. General rules usually include:

  • Electrical Fire – Extinguishing an electrical fire usually requires turning off the power or stopping a short circuit at the electrical box. If a safety blanket is available, smother the fire during the early stages after the power supply has been terminated. The simplest solution for putting out an electrical fire is to use a fire extinguisher rated for electricity. Aiming the nozzle of the extinguisher at the seat or base of the fire tends to be the most effective means to extinguish it.
  • Oil/Liquid Fire – It is imperative to avoid throwing or pouring water on a liquid or oil fire. Water will not mix with the oily or liquid substance, but will simply go underneath it, creating dangerous steam. Instead, smother it with a safety blanket if available, or use a fire extinguisher if the instructions rate it for a chemical or liquid fire. Liquids and oils often provide the fuel for stove top fires. However, many kitchen fires can be stopped by placing a lid on the skillet, or using salt or baking soda to extinguish grease fires. Never use water in a kitchen fire fed by liquids or oil.
  • Organic Fire – Water tends to be the easiest solution for smothering any type of organic fire including burning wood or paper. In addition, a safety blanket used for extinguishing fire is effective during the early stage, after approximately 10 minutes of smothering. In fact, fire extinguishers rated for organic materials work exceptionally well and fast.
  • Gas Fire – Fires created by fuel, propane gas, natural gas and other gaseous vapors are highly flammable. It is best to avoid the dangerous situation of being involved in an explosion caused by flammable gas. Instead, evacuate to a safe distance from the area on fire, and quickly call the fire department for help.

Maintaining quality fire extinguishers around the house in multiple locations is a simple solution for minimizing the potential damage and risk of injury, burns, or death in the home. It is essential that everybody in the household have a firm understanding of where the fire extinguishers are located in the kitchen, basement, sleeping quarters and other areas of the house.

Remain vigilant when using candles or smoking, and maintain electrical appliances in the house. Be sure the smoke detectors and fire alarms are in proper working order to increase the safety level of every occupant at home.

250M + Recovered for Our Clients
No Fee Guarantee We Never Charge a Fee Unless We Win
Available 24/7 Available 24-Hours per Day When You Need Us
Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa