What a draining episode! (of course, aren't they all?) But there are some things we can learn from it!
1. Think twice before accepting hand-me-down appliances. Older models don't offer modern safety features like auto shut-off.
2. Unplug slow cookers when you're not cooking. This goes for all counter top appliances.
3. Replace your fire alarm batteries. And check them once a month.
4. Have a family evacuation plan that includes your pets. All household members should know at least two ways to evacuate from every room of your home as well as a meeting spot outside.
5. Check door handles before opening them
6. If flames block your exit route, stay in the room. If you're trapped in a room, keep the door closed to help shut out both heat and toxic gases. Place a wet towel under the door if you can and call 911. Then open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
7. Never go back into a fire. Always wait for emergency responders and notify them that pets or other people are still inside, advises the National Fire Protection Association.