This year’s Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 4 to 10, and Creston Fire Rescue (CFR) is once again participating in the annual campaign, with 2020’s theme being “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”
“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada,” said CFR in a press release. “The majority of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Most home fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.”
The National Fire Protection Association has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 90 years, and the association’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy Lorraine Carli reminded residents that cooking fires can be prevented.
“Staying in the kitchen while cooking, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes,” said Carli.
Similarly, CFR assistant fire chief Laura Dodman said that safety is the most important step to take before preparing a meal.
“A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented,” said Dodman.
The following CFR safety steps are designed to help prevent cooking fires:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
- Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least one metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
“Creston Fire Rescue encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme. With physical distancing measures in place across our province, more people are staying at home, which means more home cooking,” said CFR. “We can all enjoy the great tastes of home cooking while we practice fire safety in the kitchen.”
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