Overcoming Anxiety is a series where Cat shares tips for balancing a desire to be social with various phobias/fears. If your life is severely impacted and/or limited by your own anxiety, please consult an actual mental health professional. She is not one.

Last week, while Brie was cooking up some DELICIOUS fried chicken, we had our first kitchen fire. Thankfully it was localized to the burner on the stove top, and Brandie and Brie’s mom knew exactly how to safely put it out. Nothing was damaged and no one was hurt, but it helped me realize that I’m in desperate need of a fire safety refresher. I figured I’d share it. 🙂

Imagine with me for a moment…


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  • Most important thing: DO NOT THROW WATER ON IT. Water will pretty much make it explode. Exploding is bad.


  • If you can safely turn off the burner, TURN OFF THE BURNER.

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  • If possible, smother it with a pan lid (use caution if it is a glass lid — they can shatter from high heat).

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(Do not use a pillow, use a metal pan lid).

  • If you a lot of baking soda on hand, you can also smother the flames by tossing baking soda on the fire (DO NOT USE FLOUR — it will ignite. Just baking soda).
  • You can also put it out with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

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(This is not the optimal technique for actually putting out fires. Make sure to read the instructions.)

  • DON’T try to carry whatever is actively on fire outside. You risk spreading it as the grease sloshes around.
  • If your clothes have caught on fire, stop, drop, and roll. DO NOT RUN.
  • If you cannot put out the fire yourself, evacuate your home and call 911.

The hardest part here is that you should try very hard not to panic. The best way to avoid panicking is to be prepared and have a plan of action. That way, even if you are shaking from the adrenaline burst that happens during a crisis, you can force yourself to go through the appropriate motions to keep yourself and the people and animals in your home safe.

A few tips to prepare ahead of time:

  • Make sure that there is a modern, working fire extinguisher near any room where cooking occurs.
  • Make sure that you know the location of said working fire extinguisher.
  • Make sure that you know how and when to use the fire extinguisher.
  • Carefully monitor your kitchen when you are cooking or using the oven. Fires can spread quickly, and the sooner you react after they begin, the more likely you are to be able to put them out yourself.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in appropriate places throughout your home.
  • Lean about the different kinds of home fires and read up on how to appropriately and safely extinguish them (DO NOT PUT WATER ON GREASE FIRES).
  • Keep in mind that the safety of yourself and your loved ones is more important than any possessions — do not endanger yourself once you realize a fire is out of control, quickly evacuate your home and call in people who are trained to appropriately handle fire emergencies.

Additional resources:

Wishing you all a safe and happy home!

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(P.S. Don’t do that ^!!!)

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Founder at Wendt Creative
Cat loves to eat tasty homemade things, yet isn’t terribly fond of the process of making them. She prefers recipes that take shortcuts when possible – without compromising flavor. Her dog, Cheeto, likes stealing her creations from the dining room table.

She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.

She is also allergic to felines.
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