Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2020. Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen

10/5/20203 years ago

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Fire Prevention Week Kitchen Cooking Safety Tip: Keep a Lid Handy to Smother Stovetop Fires

October 4-10 is Fire Prevention Week and Cambridge Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to promote this year’s 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. 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. With more people home due to the pandemic, everyone is cooking more! One ingredient you need every time you cook is safety.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said 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.”

Kitchen fires are a leading cause of home fires, and unattended cooking fires are the leading cause of kitchen fires. Fire is fast, dark and hot. Smoke and fire gases spread very rapidly. You only have 1 to 3 minutes to escape most fires, so you must be prepared to leave quickly.

Fires are preventable. Review these important tips for fire safety in the kitchen:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Wear tight-fitting clothing when cooking. Loose fitting clothing can easily catch fire.
  • Keep pot handles facing inward so pans can’t get knocked to the floor.
  • Teach children to stay 3-feet away from the stove.
  • Keep pets away from the stove.
  • Put a lid on stovetop fires. Keep a pot lid handy when cooking to smother stovetop fires. Then turn off the stove.
  • Never use water or a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water and extinguishers can spread the fire.
  • Keep things that can burn (paper, potholders, towels, plastic bags, plastic kitchen tools) away from the stove top.
  • For oven or microwave fires, keep the door closed, turn off the appliance, unplug it if you can safely, and call the Fire Department.

If there is an out-of-control or spreading fire in the kitchen, remember:

  •  Get out immediately
  • Alert other residents.
  • Close the door to your apartment behind you to stop the fire and smoke from spreading into the hallway or stairway.
  • Call 911 from a safe area (or pull the nearest city fire alarm box).
  • If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop, cover, & roll to put out the flames.
  • Many fire victims are hurt trying to fight the fire. Leave firefighting to the professionals.

To keep your home safe from fire:

  •  Ensure that you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. If the alarms have regular batteries, change them every time you change the clocks.
  • Practice your home emergency escape plan. Include the family, housemates, and the pets too.

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