Not understanding what went wrong and why I couldn’t get the extinguisher to work, my husband looked closely at it, and showed me there were two levers you had to push at once, proceeding to dirty my counter with the fine white powder.
What are the lessons learned?
1. Don’t use paper bags that have ink or color on them when you make popcorn in the microwave. Usually we use regular brown bags, but in the absence of one, we thought a colored bag would work as well. Clearly, it didn’t, due to the dyes and chemicals.
2. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it. Review the instructions in a non-emergency situation so you are sure you know how to operate it
But, the product manager in me is upset with the fire extinguisher manufacturer. When it comes to products, my mantra is: Smart, Simple, and Easy to use. As an emergency device, it should have been trivial for anyone to use under any circumstance (the kitchen was relatively dark when this happened). How come it didn’t?
Probably because no one ever thought about simplicity and ease of use. Sure, with no fire and plenty of light and time to review instructions, everything works as planned. However, one should plan for situations where everything goes wrong. That’s when your product should still be smart, simple, and easy to use.