Fire department reminds residents to prevent kitchen fires

  • Published
  • By Greg Chesser
  • 90th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department fire prevention chief
It's time for Fire Prevention Week, and from Oct. 6 through 12, the F.E. Warren Fire Emergency Services are joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association to remind local 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 -- and teaching 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 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 they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said John McDougall, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department fire chief. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."

Here are some safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:
  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.
  • When leaving the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home and use a timer.
  • Use the stove's back burners whenever possible, especially if young children are around.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • When cooking, 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 the stovetop.
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.