“Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” is this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, which runs October 4 to 10, 2020. The theme is all about inspiring and empowering children and adults to mitigate hazards in the kitchen by learning how to spot dangers, reduce risks, and respond in the event of an emergency.
President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4 to 10, 1925, as a way to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which began October 8, 1871, and did most of its damage October 9. Since then, it’s been observed every year during the week October 9 falls within.
Each year, cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half (49 percent) of all US home fires involving cooking equipment. For many, it’s the metaphorical heart of your home where you go for nourishment, both physical and emotional, and come together with family and friends to share meals and spend quality time. However, the kitchen is also the area that poses the most significant threat of fires and requires the highest level of safety. Cooking is by far the leading cause of home fires and related injuries, with an average of 173,200 incidents reported to US fire departments annually.
“This year’s pandemic presents heightened concerns around home cooking, particularly as people continue to steer clear of public spaces, including restaurants, and opt instead to cook more at home. In turn, the number of home cooking fires may rise in the months ahead as the uncertainty of the times continues. These factors make this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, ‘Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen’, particularly timely and important,” said Williamson County Fire Marshal Hank Jones.
The recipe to improved fire safety in the kitchen includes:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
• If you are baking or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
• Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. IF a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
• Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
• Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
• Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
Watch and see our recipe for safe cooking in the kitchen here: https://youtu.be/S6JGKcK_700.