TAVARES — Lake County Fire Rescue is joining the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind residents about things they can do to prevent kitchen fires during Fire Prevention Week being observed Oct. 6-12. The theme for this year is “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” and firefighters will be out during the week educating residents about how kitchen fires can be avoided.
"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Assistant Fire Chief Jack Fillman. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that this Fire Prevention Week safety message will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."
According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of house fires. Two out of every five house fires begin in the kitchen—more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
In 2012, the State of Florida reported over 16,000 house fires with 112 fires in the unincorporated area of Lake County which included 43 fires as a result of cooking.
Kitchen fire prevention tips that firefighters and safety advocates emphasize are:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.
- If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- When you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
- If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove, and turn cookware handles inward. NEVER cook with a baby in your arms.
- When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
- Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.
- Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops after cooking surface cools.
Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.