What To Do If Your Oven Catches Fire

Last night I was making two pizzas in the oven like I’d done many times before. When they were done I pulled the oven rack toward me as far as it would go so I could slide the pizzas out easier; I got the first one out no problem, but when I returned to get the second pizza, it was missing. I thought to myself, “Where in the world did the second pizza go!?” Turns out, the second pizza was now sitting atop the oven burner catching on fire and making one heck of a smoke signal!

My guess is the second pizza got stuck to the back of the oven wall and stayed attached as I pulled the oven rack out without me realizing it. Eventually, I fished out the second pizza and still need to clean it out, but that got me to thinking that we ought to remind ourselves what to do should the oven or a pot on the burner ever catch fire…

Oven Fire

Here’s what to do if the oven catches fire:

  1. “Leave the oven door closed!
  2. Turn off the oven and allow the fire to burn out on its own.
  3. If it does not go out on its own, leave the house and call 911.
  4. If it does go out, then open your windows.
  5. Carefully open the oven door (it will be smoky!) and remove the hot pan.
  6. Allow the smoke to clear before determining the cause of the fire and possibly resuming cooking.”

Burner Fire

Here’s what to do if a burner ever catches fire:

Never Use The Oven to Heat Your Home

This article explains why you should never use an oven to heat your home: “Do not use a gas or electric oven or surface units for heating. A gas oven may go out or burn inefficiently, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. An electric oven was not designed for space heating.”

The article also explains important safety considerations regarding keeping warm during the winter in an unheated house… all of which are good reminders for everyone to read.

Toaster Ovens

I also want to quickly point out that toaster ovens are particularly susceptible to fires for a few reasons, so keep a close eye on them. And if you ever choose to makeshift a candle-powered tea light oven because, why not, then REALLY keep an eye on it, lol!

Lock Pick Beginners Box Review

I was sent this Lock Pick Beginners Box from LockPickWorld.com in exchange for an honest review and, honestly, I really had no idea what they were going to send because I basically said “send whatever you like” as I had no experience with picking locks and, thus, no expectations either.

Anyway, the box arrived a few days later and was smaller than I’d anticipated at about 7″ x 5″ and not a whole lot bigger than most cell phones these days, lol:

After opening the box, everything was well-contained and included the lock pick set, a smaller concealed credit-card-sized pick set, and two different see-through training locks:

Here’s what I found after taking it all out of their respective packages, with the 15-piece lock pick set lined up along the top in the photo below, the credit-card pick set at the bottom left, and the two practice locks shown on the bottom and bottom right:

Scratching my head at everything, the first thing I looked for was a set of instructions, yet I found none. Truth be told, I typically ignore instructions, at least, until I get suck, but this time I really had no idea what I was doing.

After heading back to the product page I realized that I should have received an ebook to go along with the pick set, but since this was a review product I guess I didn’t get the appropriate email. No big deal, I got my hands on the book and actually found it rather interesting… and I even read most of it too.

The problem I found was that reading how to pick a lock was far different than actually seeing it done. And, so, I headed to YouTube and found this video which helped me get started:

I watched a few others which I won’t bore you with, but I can attest that picking locks is much harder than I thought it would be!

I tried for a while to use the lock picks like I thought I should on the practice padlock without any success. Then I tried the “raking” method discussed in both the book and shown in the video above using a “triple peak” pick and I quickly picked the training padlock! Uh oh… I might be hooked.

It was neat to get something to actually work, so I tried the double-sided lock using the “raking” method but was stumped again.

Long story short, I went back to using the tension wrench and “short pick” on the double-sided lock and, after fiddling with it and watching the tumblers move I actually got the lock to open, but that took some time and more patience than I tend to have.

Regardless, it was neat to accomplish. I actually went around the house and tried a few door locks using only a tension wrench and short pick, but had no success.

And, if I’m being honest, the rest of the lock pick set looks like Greek to me. I also tried to use the credit-card set on the training locks and eventually got them to work as well.

I briefly considered adding the credit-card set to my wallet, but it’s already filled to the brim with other stuff and, knowing my luck, I would probably get arrested the next time I tried to board a plane with them, lol.

Ultimately, I was pleased with the lock pick beginners box set. It’s an interesting skill that I never tried before and, whether or not it may come in handy during any sort of disaster scenario, the tools are certainly fun to practice with and may just make an entertaining gift for the upcoming holiday season.

7 Overlooked Everyday Items In Your House You Can Use For Survival

Any survival or disaster situation is naturally going to require you to get a little creative.  

This is because resources in any survival situation are going to be rather thin, and you’re going to have to learn how to make the best with what you have.

Fortunately, finding yourself in a survival situation doesn’t just mean that you are limited to survival tools that you may not even have on hand at the time.

This is because you can easily take everyday household items that you probably already have an abundance of and use those items to make surviving significantly easier.  

Here are the top seven overlooked everyday items in your house that you can use for survival, presented in alphabetical order:

1. ALUMINUM FOIL

Aluminum foil already has a great many uses around the house, and it likewise will for if and when you find yourself in a survival situation as well.  

One of the best uses for aluminum foil will be to use it to help cook food in a survival situation.  If all you have available is a fire rather than your stove or oven, you can wrap food in the aluminum foil and then place it next to the fire.

Another valuable use for aluminum foil will be to use it as a signal, since it can reflect the light of the sun.  Additionally, you can also use aluminum foil will be to use pieces of it as a fishing lure, as fish are naturally attracted to bright objects.

2. BAKING SODA

If there’s only one personal hygiene item that you can have on hand in a disaster scenario, it should without question be baking soda.

This is simply because you can use baking soda to make virtually any other kind of personal hygiene item in existence, from soap to shampoo to deodorant to toothpaste to floor cleaner to dishwashing soap to laundry detergent.

All you really need to do is mix the baking soda with water in order to create a paste, and you can create any of those listed above.

3. COFFEE FILTERS

Another highly versatile but overlooked survival item is just an ordinary coffee filter.  Besides the obvious use of using it to help make your morning cup of coffee, you can also use a coffee filter to filter through water, as fire tinder (mix with grease for the best effect), to wrap food, or as emergency toilet paper.

4. DENTAL FLOSS

Obviously dental floss can be used for oral hygiene in a survival situation, but you can use it for a great multitude of other purposes as well.

For example, you can use dental floss as fishing line, as a clothesline, to help build shelter, to make matches burn longer (simple wrap the floss around the matches), to set snares, for sewing, or as a tripwire.

NOTE: attach tin cans filled with a few pebbles to the tripwire, and you’ve created an emergency alert system.  U.S. troops used this strategy to great effect to alert them to nearby Japanese troop movements in the Pacific campaign during World War II.

5. GARBAGE BAGS

It’s surprising that garbage bags don’t show up as often as they should in other lists of the best everyday items to use for survival, because they truly are among the most versatile items that you can possibly use for survival.

One of the best uses for a garbage bag will be to use it as a poncho, since you simply need to cut a few holes through it for your head and arms.  You can also use a garbage bag as a makeshift tarp, as a mattress (simple stuff it full with leaves, grass, and pine needles), or as a wall or ceiling for an emergency shelter.

6. HAND SANITIZER

In addition to using hand sanitizer as a personal hygiene item in a survival situation, you can also use it to sanitize surfaces such as tables or knife blades, to help get fires going (sanitizer is very flammable), for treating mosquito bites (simply apply it directly to the site of the bite), or to remove stains from clothing.

7. PAPER CLIPS

In a survival situation, an ordinary paper clip will be one of the best alternatives to a normal fishing hook.  Beyond that use, you can also use a paper clip to replace zipper tabs on a jacket, or as a toe or finger splint in the event of an injury.

BONUS: SODA CAN

Throwing a soda can away is the last thing you should do with it in a disaster situation.  You can use the tab as a makeshift fishing hook (much as you could with an ordinary paper clip like we just mentioned), and you can also polish the bottom of the can with chocolate to help it reflect the sunlight for signaling. Alternatively, you can also clean out the inside of the can to use it for storage.

CONCLUSION

If there’s anything that you learn from this article, it’s that you shouldn’t neglect any ordinary items you have laying around the house. Chances are good that you can find at least one or two ways to use that item for survival in a disaster scenario.

Easy DIY Water Filter

With a little ingenuity and a few parts (of about $30 or less) you can build your own SHTF DIY water filter which can be reused over and over again.

You only need an inexpensive hand pump, activated carbon, window screen material (or something similar), a small piece of PVC pipe, as well as some appropriate fittings and tubing to round out the build.

Of course, this water filter should ONLY ever be used as a last resort and you really should attempt to boil any collected water to ensure it’s safe to consume. This filter, therefore, should be considered as a quality pre-filter before final treatment…

Fire Cider – Natural Cold Killer!

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Want to get a head start on staying healthy for the cold season? Try this “fire cider” recipe which, to be honest, sounds like it would be a tough drink to stomach, lol.

Regardless, the drink does contain quite a few beneficial ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, garlic, and ginger, each of which are purported to have significant health benefits when your ill…

“If you’re looking for a spicy, tangy, and delicious way to beat the tar out of the common cold, Fire Cider is for you. This wonderful health tonic is made with a variety of herbs and spices that will literally burn the virus right out of your system. Fire cider is chock full of things like apple cider vinegar, hot peppers, and garlic.

Sounds more like a salad dressing or steak marinade than a cold cure.

Don’t be fooled by the tasty ingredients of Fire Cider because this potent concoction is anything but seasoning for your favorite foods. It takes on the common cold like a warrior going into battle…”

Read the full article here (includes recipe video)

Rocket Stove Fuel Alternatives

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If you’re “into” survival at all then you’re likely very familiar with rocket stoves… they’re awesome! And they can be fashioned out of all sorts of items, from sheet metal and tin cans to masonry bricks and even earthen materials.

The thing is that I’ve ALWAYS used sticks and twigs to fuel them; however, as the following post explains: “…when a hurricane brushes by my coast and dumps 4-10 inches of rain, there are no dry branches or twigs to gather, light and cook dinner with!”

Clearly, you’ll need an alternative rocket fuel in that case. Here’s a few ideas…

A rocket stove can burn just about anything, including your furniture if need be!

Like any cooking appliance, it needs fuel of some sort. The Rocket Stove is no exception. For me, when a hurricane brushes by my coast and dumps 4-10 inches of rain, there are no dry branches or twigs to gather, light and cook dinner with! I found it difficult to long-term store dry twigs and small branches for its’ fuel, until this week. I found that the Preppers favorite long-term storage container, the 5-gallon bucket, works perfectly!

Wood Fuel for the Rocket Stove:

Here are two buckets, one has split wood in it (about ½ to ¾ inch square by 12-13 inches long) ready to use. The other bucket has scrap 2×4’s and 2×6’s in it, I had this wood on my fireplace wood pile and because of rains, it is too wet to easily split with a hand ax so I’ll get to it in a couple weeks. The nice thing about using 5-gallon bucket for the wood storage is just snap a lid on it and it is neat, dry, bug-free, and clean in your closet or pantry storage…”

Read the full article here

3 Ways to Preserve Food WITHOUT Canning

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Occasionally, I rant about how much I despise canning foods… it’s always been a pain, in my opinion, and quite messy. That said, I know it can be a great way to put a lot of food if you’re willing to do so, and I’m just not THAT willing, lol.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to stockpile food without refrigeration or canning, and the following article discusses three of them: fermentation, dry curing (meats), and dehydrating.

Personally, I’ve gotten into fermentation in the past few years and, for the most part, it’s really easy to do. I’ve only done a bit of curing and I used to do a lot of dehydrating, though, I’ve slowed on that once I really discovered freeze-dried foods.

Regardless, they’ll all great ways to preserve many healthy foods for the long term and I would strongly encourage you to try you hand at one or more of these methods if you’ve never done so.

Here’s the first part of the article:

“Canned food is so prevalent today that it’s hard to imagine life without it. When you have extra produce that you want to preserve, most people will tell you to can it.

But, what happens when you don’t have the equipment you need for proper canning? What if you run out of flat lids and can’t go to the store for more? Or if you can’t start a fire and keep it going long enough to properly heat and process your jars?

Depending on what happens, canning extra food may not always be possible. You need some alternatives.

Canning was thought to be invented by Nicolas Appert back in 1809, when he was looking for a way to preserve food for the French military. The invention of the mason jar in 1858 helped spread canning’s popularity, as did other inventions throughout history.

But prior to these events, people preserved food without canning. They knew they had to grow or harvest enough food each growing season to last the winter. Their very survival depended on putting up food that they could safely eat months later…”

Read the full article here

The Grid-Down MultiMachine 10-in-1 All-Purpose Machine Tool

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Have you ever heard of the MultiMachine before? I hadn’t until I read this article earlier this morning.

Apparently, it’s a DIY open source project intended for developing countries “…that can be built by a semi-skilled mechanic with just common hand tools… electricity can be replaced with ‘elbow grease’ and the necessary material can come from discarded vehicle parts.”

That sounds interesting and promising.

According to the aforementioned website, this off-grid machine tool can be used to:

  • build and repair irrigation pumps and farm implements
  • make and repair water pumps and water-well drilling rigs
  • build steel-rolling-and-bending machines for making cook stoves
  • make cart axles and rebuild vehicle parts

…and more.

Like I said, the plans are all open source and can be downloaded as a PDF file or viewed as an HTML document, if you prefer.

What you May NOT know About Preserving Eggs

I did this experiment myself years ago now and, surprisingly, it worked out rather well, even after four months of only being preserved with mineral oil.

In the video she says the coated eggs can last up to nine months, I’ve seen others say a year, and my experiment lasted 18 weeks because that’s how many eggs I had to experiment with. 🙂

Anyway, she offers some additional valuable tips that I wish I knew when I tried my own hand at this, though I do disagree a bit about not using store-bought eggs because my experiments showed there was a clear difference between the control eggs (those that were left uncoated) and those that did get coated with mineral oil after several weeks, if I remember right.

Here’s the video…