This week marks Fire Prevention Week 2013. This year’s emphasis is on kitchen fires, which account for 2 out of 5 house fires. Unattended cooking was a factor in 1/3 of kitchen fires, while the other 2/3 of kitchen fires were caused by food or other materials igniting.
What can you do to prevent a fire in your home? There are simple steps you can take.
- Have working smoke detectors to alert you in case of fire. Check them now to make sure they work and replace their batteries.
- If you have young children in the house, mark off a 3 foot “kid-free” zone around the stove top or range. Use tape on the floor as a visual reminder to kids not to come near the stove.
- Turn pot handles to the side so they can’t be bumped by someone walking by.
- Use the back burners so a child or pet can’t reach a hot pot or pan.
- Use timers to remind yourself you have something on the stove or in the oven.
- Don’t open your microwave as soon as the cooking cycle is complete. Let the food settle for 30 seconds, then open any food coverings very carefully to let steam escape without burning you.
- If a fire ignites on the stove or in the oven, use a lid, a bigger pan, or a cookie sheet to cover it to smother the fire. NEVER use water, flour, sugar, a wet towel to throw on a cooking fire. The flames will jump back on you!
You can find more kitchen safety tips at the National Fire Protection Association website. You can also find more general fire safety tips on their Safety Tips Sheets page. Don’t forget about our fire safety page too! We have fire safety videos for families with kids with special needs.