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Some Different Substances That Can Be Used To Put Out A Fire

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Knowing some different ways to extinguish a small fire is worth having stored in your mind. Although standard fire safety equipment - such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets - should be used, it is sometimes not possible to get to them in time or perhaps the piece of kit is damaged or missing. Instead of panicking, you can look for alternative sources to quickly quell the flames. This article looks at some substances that can be used to put out a fire.


When put over flames, soil will not only absorb the heat, it will also smother the flames very effectively. While it is true to say that using soil to put out a fire is more suited to outside campfires and barbecues, it is also true that many people have window boxes in their kitchen, or at least some kind of flower and plant. If this grows in soil, you have a quick and effective way to put out a small fire in your kitchen; a few handfuls of soil can put out a small fire.

Pan Lid

When a small fire ignites from a pan or pot on the cooktop, many people instinctively go for a towel or cloth to cover the flames. While this may work sometimes, it is just as likely that the cloth can catch fire itself. Before reaching for the cloth, remember that you have an implement already that not only fits the size of the pan perfectly, but it will do a great job of starving the fire of oxygen, namely the lid of the pan. A small fire can be put out almost instantaneously if covered by a lid.


For small fires starting in the kitchen, this is another great substance for snuffing out a fire. Most people have table salt stored in large containers; or the at least have the container that the salt came in before it was transferred to a smaller container for the table. Use this big container to pour salt over the flames. Sodium chloride – or salt – sucks up the heat from the fire while depriving the fire of air and oxygen.

Sand And Beer

These are two substances that can be used for small, outdoor fires. For grills and barbecues on the beach, remember that instead of running for water – should a fire break out – simply throw some sand over the flames. If you are camping and a fire suddenly breaks out, beer can be poured over the flames; the water-based brew is good for killing the flames.

In an emergency, and possibly following the beer tip, if you have nothing else on hand, you can urinate over a small fire to put it out.

If you don't have any sort of dedicated fire safety equipment, work with a company like Northern Fire Equipment Service to get your home or business outfitted appropriately.