Home Household items How to extinguish a fire with household items?

How to extinguish a fire with household items?


With an array of electrical appliances, tight wiring, cooking gas and plenty of flammable items, a home has all the ingredients for a fire to start and spread. Add to that human neglect and forgetfulness, and the risk of fire increases dramatically. This explains why more than 400,000 home fires are reported each year in the United States.

So what can be done to fight house fires? How to extinguish the fire if the extinguisher is not available? How to put out fires with household items? Well, for small fires, it may be possible to put them out using household items. However, keep in mind that every fire is different. It should therefore be treated accordingly. Here’s how you can use household items to put out the fire.

Salt – Salt is readily available in every home. Salt can be used to handle different types of fires such as oil based fires, wood fires, etc. You must use adequate amounts of salt, so that a thick layer can form on the source of the fire. The salt will form a layer over the source of the fire and deprive the burning fuel of oxygen. This will help reduce the fire and eventually put it out. Salt has a high melting point, so it will not be affected by fire.

Baking soda – This is another commonly available household item. Baking soda is probably the most versatile as it can be used for most types of fires such as oil based fires, chemical fires and electrical fires. Baking soda can put out the fire because it releases carbon dioxide when heated. The carbon dioxide cuts off the supply of oxygen, which in turn extinguishes the fire.

Water – For ordinary fires such as wood, furniture, clothing and upholstery that do not involve oil, chemical or electrical fires, you can rely on water to extinguish the fire . Rather than using a large bucket that can miss its target, it will be better to use a garden hose. This way you can guide the water flow to exactly where it is needed.

Lid – During cooking, if the pan or cooking vessel catches fire, you can simply use a lid to cut off the oxygen supply. Never use water on oil-based, chemical and electrical fires as it can cause the fire to spread.

Wet towel – A damp cloth or towel may be useful for extinguishing certain types of small fires such as oil or gas based fires. The underlying factor is that a damp cloth will cut off the oxygen supply, thus extinguishing the fire.

It should be noted that all of the things listed above should only be used to control small fires. If the fire has spread, it will be better to get out of the house and call the fire department. Do not attempt to tame large fires with household items as this can be a huge risk. Also, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher at home at all times.