Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.  This week’s observation began on Sunday, October 6 and goes through Saturday, October 12.  “Prevent Kitchen Fires”—that’s the message of this year’s Fire Prevention Week.

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home—and here are some tips for people on how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place.  Fires that originate in the kitchen are the Number 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries – mainly from unattended cooking.  Some tips to prevent this are to never leave the stove while you are grilling, frying, or broiling food.  Keep wooden utensils, oven mitts and cup towels away from the stovetop.  Keep lids handy to smother a pan fire.  If you can’t control the fire, call 9-1-1 and leave.

 Another tip: establish a three foot “kid-free-zone” around the stove and area where food is being prepared. 

Scald burns are the second leading cause of burn injuries.  Microwaves frequently cause scalding burns.  One example is soup that is heated in the microwave is extremely hot when it comes out, and should be allowed to cool before it is consumed.  Children should be supervised when using a microwave.  If there is a fire in the microwave, leave the door closed, turn it off, and unplug it. 

Smoke alarms serve an important roll in reducing fire deaths.  Once you hear the alarm, there is a chance of  very little time left to get out of the house.  Families should have an escape plan and find ways to get out of every room. 

 According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.  While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it. One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out. 

Take fire seriously, whether it is a kitchen or home fire, workplace fire, campfire, or any other type that you are able to prevent by being attentive.  Firefighters will appreciate your diligence.  Let’s try to make their job a little easier.


Source: National Fire Protection Association