If you have been doing this without a second thought, it might be time to stop. 

It might seem like nothing, but if you throw away this item, you could potentially cause a fire. 

Fires are on every resident’s mind following the major four-alarm fire in downtown Buffalo on Wednesday morning. You could see smoke and flames for miles, originating at 743 Main Street, which is where the DC Theatricks building stood. Emergency demolition has been ordered for the building following the fire to fully extinguish the blaze. 

A 37-year old firefighter perished in the fire as a hero. No other injuries were reported from the blaze.

It’s hard not to think about the fire when one of our own was lost. It’s been 14 years since we have lost a firefighter in the line of duty, and Buffalo is such a close knit community, the waves of this loss are felt by every one of us. 

While this fire may have occurred at a business, it is still scary, as you think about the countless other businesses around Western New York. You even start to think about your house and the neighbors that live on your street. 

Could it happen to me? Could it happen on my street?

Over the last five years, house fires have “caused 2,620 deaths and $6.9 billion in damages,” according to the NFPA

Usually, those fires can develop pretty quickly. The Department of Homeland Security said it takes “just 30 seconds” for a small flame to turn into a major blaze. 

And while you may have been able to guess this, the leading cause of house fires stems from the kitchen, as cooking is done on a regular basis. Heating equipment, electric malfunction, and gas stoves increase the risk of a fire, sure…but there’s another thing to be aware of. 

If you ever happen to burn food to a crisp, and there’s no visible flame, you should not throw it in the trash right away. The internal heat of the food item can cause the other trash in the can to work as kindling to ignite a fire in your home. 

Obviously, you never intend to burn your food, but sometimes it happens where your food becomes overcooked. Whether it be burnt toast, overcooked chicken wings, or overcooked pasta noodles, it can be a hazard to throw it in the trash immediately. 

Whenever I burn my food (accidentally, of course), I always run it under cold water for a little bit before I let it dry a bit and throw it in the trash. 

Granted, I don’t know if the cold water bit is down to a science, but we do know that it is bad to throw away burnt pieces of food immediately from the grill. 

For updates on the Wednesday fire, click here

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