Ask This Old House | Fire Safety, Strainer (S15 E2) | FULL EPISODE

16March 2019


Kevin visits Chicago to explore the dangers of home fires and ways to stay safe. Scott shows off a portable generator that doesn’t run on gas. Richard finds a rusted sink strainer in the kitchen. And the guys ask, “What is it?”
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Understanding the Dangers of Home Fires
Kevin learns about the dangers of home fires and ways to keep your family safe.

Where to find it?
Kevin visited Underwriters Laboratories testing facility outside of Chicago and worked with Consumer Safety Director John Drengenberg.

John and Kevin simulated a fire on a roof, complete with 12 mile per hour wind gust. The simulation was testing the integrity of the shingles and how much heat they can withstand over an hour and a half of burn time.

They also simulated a grease fire by heating up oil in a cooking pan. To stop a grease fire, John recommends using a pot lid or cookie sheet to smother the flames.

John also encouraged every home to have working smoke alarms and an escape plan, so the whole family knows the best way to get out of the house in case of a fire.

By simulating a living room fire, John demonstrated that the average time to safely escape a home when a smoke detector sounds is just 3-4 minutes. Fires spread quickly in a home because of an increased use of synthetics in building materials and furnishings.

Later, in the workshop, Scott Caron recommends installing smoke detectors that are interconnected- meaning an alarm in one part of the house triggers all alarms to sound. He also prefers smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that are either tied into a security alarm system or to the internet so that a home fire can be detected and reported as quickly as possible.

Gray Rubber Handle
The guys take a look at a gray, rubber handle and ask, “what is it?”

Where to find it?
The galaxG Freehand Pro is designed to help take the hand pain away from holding a paint brush all day long.

How to Provide Backup Power Without Gas
Scott shows Kevin a battery-powered generator that can provide electricity without the use of gas to machines in your home.

Where to find it?
Scott demonstrated the EnCube battery-powered generator with optional solar panels, manufactured by Kohler Generators.

How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Strainer
Richard finds a rusty sink strainer in the kitchen and shows a homeowner how to replace it.

Where to find it?
Depending on the setup of your sink, there are several choices for sink strainer. Richard used the double cup kitchen sink basket strainer assembly. This is also the assembly with a nut and basket and a strainer that installs with ring screws.

All of these can be found at home centers or plumbing supply stores.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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Ask This Old House | Fire Safety, Strainer (S15 E2) | FULL EPISODE
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