We spend a lot of money, time and effort on our homes. Our homes secure us and our families from external elements. Our homes are pretty amazing. But they are not indestructible. I learned just how vulnerable a house can be when I had a day filled with careless choices.
Last summer I nearly set my kitchen on fire. In a moment of rushing from one place to the next I quickly flopped a frozen dish of ravioli in the oven on what I thought was a cookie sheet. I looked at the clock and ran out the door. My husband had just started mowing the lawn with our 3 year-old who wanted to ride on his lap while he drove the mower. I rushed the rest of the kids to guitar lessons. I decided to stay and wait for them which meant I didn't get home until the moment it was time to take our dinner out of the oven.
We pulled up to the house, my 9 year-old opened the door and immediately shut it and started darting for the street while shouting, "DON'T GO IN THERE, THERE'S A FIRE!!!"
He's a funny kid so I thought he was joking around. I shook my head and opened the door. Sure enough, the smoke slapped me in the face. I couldn't see a single thing. The alarm pierced my ears. I told my son to go grab a neighbor. I, thinking I'm some kind of super fire-fighter, went in the house to see what was on fire. I shouted at my husband to come in and he came running to the rescue.
I did a lot of dumb things that day. I then opened the oven. Let's just say I'm a lucky gal to still have hair and eyebrows. When smoke is puffing from your oven, don't open it. Flames galore! I know better. But didn't quite think it through. I called 911, my husband, the real super hero grabbed a fire extinguisher and fought the fiery dragon trying to flee from our charred oven.
The neighbor ran in with his fire extinguisher and the two of them put out the fire.
The fire trucks raced around the corner and luckily didn't have to soak my kitchen and completely ruin it with their hose. They pulled out the perpetrator from the oven. I thought it was going to be a malfunction with the ravioli tray. Classic blame the manufacturer. But the fire chief brought over what was left of a...
Plastic cutting board.
Yep, I know it well. It used to be silver and the same size and shape as a cookie sheet. In my rushing, I grabbed the wrong thing.
People, plastic is flammable. Duh. No need to do a science experiment on that one.
Here's my safety tip of the day. It's summer now, it's hot, BBQ's are going, kids are playing, etc... Protect your home investment! Your home is not invincible. Go buy a fire extinguisher. They're not expensive. Walmart carries them. We would have had a much bigger problem on our hands had we not owned one.
I was surprised to hear after this happened how many people don't actually have one.
There are some other obvious lessons here. Main one is don't be dumb. And another is, if you would really like some new appliances, just go buy them and skip the whole burn your kitchen step. :)
Happy Summer everyone!
Mandy Cheney is a contributing blogger at PRIME RESIDENTIAL.
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