Dear Heloise: I read the column from a reader about having a kitchen fire. You should turn the heat off under the pan, or if the fire is in an oven, turn off the heat.

Fire is like a triangle; it needs three things — fuel, oxygen and heat. If any one of these things is absent, there is no fire.

In the case of a grease fire, removing the fuel is not an option, as moving the pan is very dangerous. Turning the heat off should be an immediate reaction. Putting the lid on the pan smothers the fire by preventing oxygen from getting in to feed the fire, and the use of baking soda on the fire will do the same.

If you need to use the fire extinguisher, think of the acronym "PASS," which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep.

P — Pull the pin

A — Aim at the base of the fire

S — Squeeze the trigger/lever

S — Sweep back and forth

So, turn off the heat and "PASS" the fire extinguisher. — Barbara Hostetler, Phoenix

Barbara, thanks for the important fire pointers! Be sure you have an appropriate fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen that is in proper working order. Read the instructions today! — Heloise

Dear Heloise: For traveling, I keep my toiletry bag packed at all times with miniature versions of needed items. I also keep a small pen with a sticky note attached to the top of the bag, so that if I run out or low on something, I simply write it on the note and replenish everything when I get home. It's one less thing to think about when packing for a trip, and I am ready to go! — Sighrina, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Dear Heloise: My husband came up with what I think is a great time saver. When we were getting ready to paint, as we took pictures down, he placed a paper clip in the hole where the nail was taken out. This way, when the painting was finished, all he had to do was replace the picture hooks in the exact place that has already been measured and balanced. Hope this hint will help others. — Carol Meier, The Villages, Fla.

Carol, I'm lazy and just paint over them! — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I would like to share a beading hint that has made it so much easier for me. I lay a soft cloth (several thicknesses) on the table. I can lay out a pattern, change it and thread the beads by maneuvering the needle through the holes, never having to pick up the beads. I don't have to struggle with tiny beads or worry about having them roll off the table. Don't use a fabric like a towel, as the tiny beads would get lost in the loops. Thanks for such an enjoyable, yet useful, column! — Sophie Rainville, San Antonio

Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 210-435-6473; e-mail: [email protected] © King Features Syndicate Inc.