FRANKFORT, Ky. (10/5/13) – Don’t forget basic cooking safety tips. That’s the message of Fire Prevention Week, observed this year Oct. 6-12.
Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire – the two-day blaze that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 more homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings Oct. 8-9, 1871.
That heartbreak encouraged reform across America, prompting new fire safety codes and public awareness campaigns. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sponsors a fire prevention campaign each October to highlight the importance of fire safety education. According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
“There are simple, common-sense ways to reduce the risk of cooking fires,” said Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope. “Stay in the kitchen and keep watch over what you are cooking, maintain a clean area around your stovetop, and keep anything that can catch fire – like oven mitts, dish towels and even the sleeves on your clothing – away from the stovetop.”
Other safety tips include keeping children and pets at least three feet away from the stove; if you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove; and, plug microwaves and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet and avoid using extension cords.
Swope encourages families to also map out an escape plan with two ways out of the house and keep smoke detectors in good working order by checking the batteries regularly.
The state fire marshal’s office in the Division of Fire Prevention is an agency of the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction within the Public Protection Cabinet. Visit the website at http://dhbc.ky.gov/sfm/. Fire safety information is available at http://www.nfpa.org.
Information provided by Ricki Gardenhire
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