Fire officials promote kitchen safety for prevention week

Asia Ashley Staff Writer

October 1, 2013

Fire officials are encouraging safe kitchen practices during this year’s Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12.

During this year’s fire safety campaign, “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” fire departments are joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to spread the word about the dangers of kitchen fires, most of which result from unattended cooking, and will teach local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two out of every five home fires begin in the kitchen—more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

“Often when we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes,” said Lt. Chris Taylor, public information officer for the LaGrange Fire Department. “Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start.”

Some of the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing are:

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.

• If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.

• If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.

• When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

• Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stove-top.

• Clean up food and grease from burners and stove-tops.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country and is the longest running public health and safety observance on record, said Taylor. The fire department will continue to teach fire prevention in schools, day cares and community groups throughout the month of October.

“We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they’ve suffered a damaging lesson,” said Taylor.