FREEBIE OF THE MONTH. FIRE EXTINGUISHER.

Every kitchen should have an ABC (dry chemical) fire extinguisher with a visible pressure gauge. If you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen now (its usually under the sink), check the pressure gauge. If the pressure is low, you need a new one. You can pick up a new fire extinguisher from me anytime. They are in the chocolate room.

Kitchen fires are the most common of all home emergencies. Every year, 1 out of every 8 homes in the U.S. has a kitchen cooking fire. Fire is the most dangerous of all home emergencies because fire makes people panic and do stupid things that make the situation worse.
Appliance Fire. If a toaster or other electrical appliance is on fire, unplug the appliance and then smother the fire with an ABC fire extinguisher. Then, toss out the toaster and get a new one. Never reuse an electrical appliance that was on fire.
Stovetop Fire. If its a stovetop fire, turn off the burner and smother the flames or just put a lid on the pan. Never try to put out a grease fire with water. It can splash the burning grease around the room and set you on fire. Never carry a burning pan outside! It can set your whole house on fire if flaming grease spills as you are carrying the pan.
Oven Fire. If its an oven fire, don’t open the door. Just turn off the heat. If you leave the oven door closed, the fire will run out of oxygen and go out by itself.

The Dangers of Clutter and Hoarding.

On December 27, 2015; a fire destroyed a house near where I live on the 2800 block of Acton Street near Russell. The house was occupied by its owner, Billy Carroll. Firemen were unable to enter the house through the front door because there was a pile of stuff placed up against the door making it impossible to open. The firemen eventually found another way into the house, but Carroll was in the center of the house by that time, and the firemen could not reach him because piles of storage boxes blocked their way. By the time the firemen were able to get to Mr. Carroll, he was dead.

This story is not unique or even unusual. Excessive clutter is responsible for countless fires and deaths every year. Hoarding and the accumulation of stuff is a danger to the health, safety, and lives or everybody living in that building and the neighboring buildings. Are you storing stuff in your hallways, on stairs, or near exits that people have to walk around or avoid? If your apartment was full of smoke, would firemen be able to navigate through your place without falling down or tripping over stuff? Are you storing stuff near furnaces? What happened to Billy Carroll is more common than you might think. Just within 1 block of my house, I know of 2 other houses that were destroyed by fire in which people died as a result of their clutter. There are a lot of reality TV shows about hoarding. Perhaps you have seen one. In these shows, no one dies as a result of their hoarding, but reality TV is not reality. In the real world, hoarding and clutter is dangerous, and people die as a result of it every day.  When is the last time you looked over your house or apartment objectively and asked yourself what would happen if your place was on fire and filled with smoke. Would you be able to get out? With limited visibility, would firemen be able to get in and move around inside your place to rescue you?