This week is Fire Prevention Week, and Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to raise awareness for fire safety in the kitchen.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve up fire safety in the kitchen” is aimed at letting people know how to keep themselves and those around them safe, according to a release by Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services.
“According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States,” the release said. “Almost half of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.”
Taking precautions while cooking can make a big difference in preventing a kitchen fire, according to the release.
“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to ‘Serve up fire safety in the kitchen’,” Lt. Chris Archer of the Dawson County Fire Department said in the release. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”
The release provided several safety tips to help avoid fires while cooking.
- Never leave cooking food unattended, and make sure to stay in the kitchen at all times while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Turn off the stove if you have to leave for any amount of time.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, make sure to check it regularly, remain in the home and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking. Always make sure to remain alert while cooking.
- Keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby while you’re cooking, and if a small grease fire starts slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame, turn the burner off and leave the pan covered until it has completely cooled down.
- Make sure to leave a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and all areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.
“The Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Department encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme,” the release said.
For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.