We love spending time with our grandkids as well as our nieces and nephews. That’s why we plan various outings with them from Grandparents Camp to other small activities. Mark and I can’t get enough of their cute faces and it gives their parents a break.

A little while ago, we took our niece to the Central Ohio Fire Museum in Columbus, Ohio. Not only did she really love it, but I was surprised at how many things I learned!

We learned about the history of firefighting, saw historical gear, and received a bunch of tips. As a part of the tour, they teach about fire prevention and it was during this portion of the tour that I was shocked at how many things I had never heard before. I posted a few of these to my Instagram and Facebook stories and from the number of “Thank you so much–I had no idea! This is such good information!” responses I got, it seems a lot of other people didn’t know these either. So I thought I would share them all in a blog post too.

(Also, don’t forget to check out the Central Ohio Fire Museum if you are in the area!)

Here are 11 fire safety tips you may not know:

  1. If a fire occurs in the oven, turn it off and dial 911. Don’t try to remove what you were cooking as this could cause the fire to spread if you were to drop it. Ovens, unlike the rest of your kitchen, are pretty flame resistant so the safest action is to leave it contained and allow it to burn out on its own. Do not open the oven until the fire fully goes out.
  2. Don’t use a normal ABC fire extinguisher on oil cooking fires. Typical fire extinguishers (ABC extinguishers) will only splash and spread oil cooking fires. Instead, cooking fires should be put out with a “K fire extinguisher.” If you don’t have a K fire extinguisher, you can also smother the fire with a lid to snuff out the oxygen or use baking powder or baking soda to put it out. If you have an ABC extinguisher, it is great for other types of fires that do not involve grease or oil.
  3. Do NOT put water on an oil fire. This will only make the fire bigger and increase the likelihood that it will spread.
  4. If you have a pan on the stovetop that catches fire, use a cookie sheet to put over the pan in order to stop the flow of oxygen to the flames. This is easier than using the lid of the pan and you’ll be less likely to get burned.
  5. Never use your toaster up under your cabinets. Instead, move your toaster to the edge of the counter, out from under the cabinets, so if it catches fire it is less likely to spread to the cabinets. And if your toaster or any other electronic appliances catch fire, unplug the appliance if it is safe to do so. The electricity is part of what is maintaining the fire and is oftentimes acting as a fuel source.
  6. Sleep with your bedroom door closed. This does several things. It helps prevent toxins caused when the artificial items in your house burn from getting into your room faster. It also helps reduce the temperature at ground level so you have more time to escape or for firefighters to come find you. Sleeping with your door closed can buy at least 5 extra minutes of air in an emergency situation. Because of the materials in our homes today that can be toxic when burned, if our door is left open we can sometimes only have three breaths before we’re seriously affected.
  7. Sleep with your pets in the same room. Most pets get scared in a fire and don’t know how to get out of the home without you.
  8. If you or your child is stuck in their room, make sure the door is shut and then wedge a bed sheet out the window to signal to the firefighters where you are. Firefighters look for signs like this when they arrive to quickly get to you. Just be sure to close the window fully to avoid making a flow pattern that will attract the fire.
  9. Make sure your children are familiar with what a firefighter looks like in gear. This can be scary for some children, especially when they are already scared by the emergency of a fire. Many schools have a fire safety day or you can take your kids to the nearest fire station to see their gear. As a bonus, they might let your kids sit in the truck too! Just be sure to bring the firefighters some snacks or treats as a way to say thank you.
  10. Practice fire safety at home with your kids. The best thing you can do is to have a plan and practice it with your children. Set a meeting spot outside. Invest in an escape ladder for every bedroom on or above the second floor. Make sure your age-appropriate children know how to use the fire extinguisher. Buy smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, teach your kids how and when to call 911. (Make sure your kids learn how to convey the important information such as your home address, phone number, type of emergency, and number of people and pets in the home.)
  11. Any cell phone, even an old one that isn’t “activated” can call 911. It can be a good idea to consider keeping an old cell phone charged and in your kids’ rooms so that they can call for help if they are stuck in their room or if you are unconscious for some reason.

I hope that you learned just as much as I did from these fire safety tips! I know I’ll be sleeping with my bedroom door closed and reach for the nearest cookie sheet if a pot on my stovetop catches fire anytime soon as a result of these tips.

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