Fire Prevention Week 2023 Focuses on Kitchen Fires
Across the U.S., interest in cooking and testing out new recipes in the kitchen have risen dramatically in recent years.
The fire service says it’s time to see a similar increase in interest in preventing kitchen fires, and that’s why the theme for Fire Marshal Bean this year is “Cooking safety starts with you. Pay attention to fire prevention.” National Fire Prevention Week is from Oct. 8-14, 2023.
“Cooking fires account for about one-half of all home fires across the nation,” State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said. “Most of these fires could be eliminated by making a few simple things standard operating procedure in the kitchen. Let’s start with remaining in the kitchen when cooking, protecting against fires that start with grease, and having an easily accessible fire extinguisher in the kitchen.”
Fire Marshal Bean shared these tips:
*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.
*Keep your cooking area clean. Do not let grease build up on the range top, toaster oven or in the oven.
*Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop.
*Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. This helps prevent spills that can start fires.
*Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
*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 are cooking.
*You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
According to U.S. Fire Administration estimates, in 2021 in the U.S. there were 353,500 residential fires, 2,840 deaths and 11,400 injuries in residential fires. Losses were estimated at almost $8.6 billion.
As a reminder, the end of Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, when clocks are adjusted to “fall back” an hour, can serve as an easy reminder to change smoke and CO alarm batteries once a year. Remember, when you change the time, change the batteries. Always have properly installed and maintained smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
More tips on a variety of fire safety topics are available on the Division of Fire Safety website at: https://dfs.dps.mo.gov/safetytips/.