October 3, 2020

Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, and the Lee’s Summit Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, and the same is true for Lee’s Summit. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic people have had to prepare meals at home or have taken up cooking as activity for something to do, thus increasing the risk of a cooking fire. “We know cooking fires can be prevented, by simply not leaving food cooking unattended” said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Eden. “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 Lee’s Summit Fire Department encourages all residents to be safe in the kitchen by following these safety tips:
• 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. Do not cook if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
• Always keep an oven mitt and a 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 three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the Lee’s Summit Fire Department has temporarily suspended all in person public education activities in order to protect the public and responders. There are still a number of things that you can do at home to learn about fire safety and support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”. For more information about cooking and home fire safety, visit www.fpw.org , lsfire.net, or go to Lee’s Summit Fire Department’s Facebook page.

In addition to cooking safety, make sure your home is safe by having working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and hallways to sleeping areas. Change alarm batteries at least once a year, replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old, and have an escape plan to get out.