Quincy, MA – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced that this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week will be “Prevent Cooking Fires: Watch What You Heat.” Fire Prevention Week is scheduled to take place October 8 through 14, 2006. The NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 80 years.
During Fire Prevention Week an emphasis is placed on raising the public’s awareness of fire prevention and safety with a special focus this year on the importance of preventing cooking fires in the home.
NFPA studies show cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Three out of four fire injuries reported each year occur in the home. It is vital to stress the importance of cooking safety as hundreds are killed and thousands are injured each year.
Home cooking fires kill hundreds of Americans and injure roughly 4,000 more each year. Aside from death and injury, other personal losses are suffered with half a billion dollars in homes and their contents destroyed annually.
NFPA offers detailed information about home cooking fires, including the report entitled Home Cooking Fire Patterns and Trends, along with advice for cooking safety and other valuable resources on the official Fire Prevention Week Web site, http://www.firepreventionweek.org.
NFPA offers these tips for safer cooking:
Stand by your pan:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.
- If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep in mind that you should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
No kids allowed:
- Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
- If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible, and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk that pots with hot contents will be knocked over.
- Never hold a small child while cooking.
Keep it clean:
- Keep anything that can catch fire-pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains-away from your stove top.
- Clean up food and grease from burners and the stovetop.