Fire Prevention Week runs from October 8-14 this year, and Haldimand County Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to promote this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire preventionTM.”
This year’s theme and awareness campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take when cooking to mitigate the risk of kitchen fires.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada. “Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires,” said Fire Chief Jason Gallagher. “This tells us that there is still much work to do when it comes to educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.”
Haldimand County Fire Department offers these key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire.
- Ensure your home has functioning smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are installed to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking, and never leave anything unattended. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 1m around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- When it comes to cooking with oil, shortening, or other fats, it’s crucial to be extra vigilant. One small mistake, such as overheating the oil or leaving a pot unattended, can quickly escalate into a dangerous kitchen fire. To prevent these kinds of fires, it’s important to keep pots and pans securely lidded to avoid splashing oil and never to leave cooking equipment unattended.
- If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Homeowners should be mindful of how they store their kitchen tools and utensils. Make sure that flammable materials, such as paper towels or dish towels, are stored away from the stovetop, and that utensils and tools are kept in a safe and secure location.
To find out more about fire prevention programs and activities in Haldimand, please contact the Haldimand County Fire Department at (905) 318-5932 ext. 6230 . For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking safety, visit www.fpw.org. For fire safety fun for kids, visit sparky.org.