It’s time for Fire Prevention Week, and from October 6-12 the Lee’s Summit Fire Department is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind residents to ‘Prevent Kitchen Fires.’ During this year’s fire safety campaign, fire departments will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires--most of which result from unattended cooking.
According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two 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 Fire Chief Keith Martin. "Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they’ve suffered a damaging lesson."
To prevent cooking fires and injuries remember the following:
• 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, keep the handles turned to the side or use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three 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 stovetop.
• Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops. Keep a lid nearby to slide it over the pan if it should catch fire, and turn off the burner.
• In case of a fire in the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed.
• Call 911 to report your fire- even if you think you’ve put it out.
In addition to preventing kitchen fires, increase your chances of surviving a fire in your home by having working smoke alarms, and developing and practicing a home fire escape plan.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week and how to prevent kitchen fires visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org, or contact the Lee’s Summit Fire Department at (816) 969-1300, or on the web at www.lsfire.net.