On October 9th, 1871, 250 people lost their lives, 100,000 people were left homeless, 17,400 structures were destroyed, and more than 2,000 acres of land were burned by the Great Chicago Fire. To commemorate this fire, Fire Prevention Week (FPW) is recognized every year on the week of October 9th. This year Fire Prevention Week is October 4th – 10th. During Fire Prevention Week, educate those around you about fire safety and prevention measures to prevent tragic fire accidents.
“Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”
This year, the theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” Since cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, it is important to know some important actions that you can take to stay safe in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
Don’t Leave Your Cooking Unattended
When you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food, always stay in the kitchen. Even if you leave the kitchen for a short period of time, turn off the burner. It’s important to regularly check up on your food when you are simmering, backing, or roasting food. Always use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking and don’t cook when you have been consuming alcohol or are feeling drowsy.
Clear Your Cooking Area
You should try to keep anything that can catch fire including oven mitts, wooden utensils, and towels away from the stovetop. Setting kid-free zone of 3 feet around the stove can prevent injuries or fire accidents. Always clean up food and grease from your stovetop.
Prevent Kitchen Fires from Getting Out of Control
While cooking, you should always keep a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts, you should cover the pan and turn off the burner. You should not discharge a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire. If you have a fire in your oven or microwave, you should keep the door closed and shut off the appliance.
Prevent Burns and Scalds
Some ways to prevent burns and scalds include turning pot handles away from the stove’s edge and keep hot food and liquids away from the table and counter edges. You should keep your appliance cords coiled and away from counter edges. Always keep your face away from the oven door when checking or removing food so heat or steam does not cause burns.
If you are interested in learning more about Fire Prevention Week and how you can participate, visit the NFPA’s website.