The Campbell River Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”
The campaign highlights simple and important actions everyone can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
The Campbell River Fire Department urges everyone to take kitchen fire safety seriously.
“A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented,” says Fire Chief Thomas Doherty. “The most important step you should take before making a meal is to ‘Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!’”
According to the national association — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4 – 10 –for more than 90 years — cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire injuries. Almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”
The Campbell River Fire Department has some additional safety tips to prevent a cooking fire.
Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
You have to be alert when cooking. Don’t cook when you’re sleepy or have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy, or consumed alcohol.
Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
Have a “kid-free zone” of at least one metre (three feet) around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.
“Fire Prevention Week is an important reminder for everyone that fire prevention and safety require our attention 365 days a year,” Doherty says.
This year, the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund is hosting a Fire Prevention Week poster and video contest with prizes for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. Visit www.gov.bc.ca/FirePreventionWeek for full contest details.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org