Fire Prevention Week 2013: Prevent Kitchen & Chimney Fires
It’s that time again, to focus on fire prevention and safety and perhaps get a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog. This week, from October 6-12, 2013, is the 91st annual National Fire Prevention Week, which is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Across America, communities get involved with various activities and educational programs with a primary goal of teaching adults and children about preventing fires and safe practices in the use of fire. This year the theme of National Fire Prevention Week is “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”
This annual focus of fire prevention began in 1922 as a way of commemorating the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which resulted in over 200 fatalities. The devastating fire lasted for two days, burned more than 2,000 acres, and left over 100,000 people homeless. Sparky the Fire Dog came on the scene as the mascot for the event in the 1950s, and he has inspired children through the years to take fire safety and prevention seriously. Since the event’s 40th anniversary, what we know as National Fire Prevention Week and a focus on educating the public about fire prevention replaced previous observances that involved festivities.
Prevent Kitchen Fires
Fire departments across Connecticut are participating in Fire Prevention Week with various campaigns. Safety advocates and firefighters are busy this week getting the word out about the dangers of kitchen fires, most of which are caused by unattended cooking. Local residents are learning how to prevent kitchen fires from ever happening in the first place.
Research conducted recently by the NFPA reveals that the leading cause of home fires is cooking. Of every five home fires, two of them begin in the kitchen, which is more than any other part of the home. Fire-related injuries in the home are also most frequently caused by cooking fires.
Fire Chief David Berardesca of Hamden said that when the fire department is called to a home fire that originated in the kitchen, residents usually say they left the room for only a few minutes. “Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start,” he said.
Kitchen Safety Tips
Firefighters and other safety advocates are sharing the following advice:
- When you are grilling, frying, boiling, or broiling food, stay in the kitchen.
- If you must leave the kitchen while grilling, broiling, boiling, or frying, even if for only a short time, turn the stove off.
- When you are baking, roasting, or simmering food, stay in the home, check the stove regularly, and use alarms to remind yourself that you are cooking.
- Keep pets and children at least three feet away from the stove. If you have small children, it’s best to use the stove’s back burners whenever possible.
- To avoid a fire when you cook, wear clothing that has tight-fitting sleeves.
- Keep flammable items away from the stovetop, such as oven mitts, towels, potholders, paper bags, and wooden utensils.
- Clean up grease and food spills from stove tops and burners.
A Few Kitchen Fire Facts
- Home cooking fires are started two-thirds of the time when food or other cooking materials ignite.
- Of all reported home cooking fires, unattended cooking accounted for 34% of them, ranges are factors in 58% of them, and ovens are involved in 16% of them.
- Children age 4 and under are at a greater risk of non-fire burns involving cooking as opposed to being burned in a cooking fire.
Kitchen fires are the focus of National Fire Prevention Week this year, but chimney fires should always be a part of the conversation. Every year there are over 25,000 chimney fires; and these blazes often cause house fires. The best way to avoid a chimney fire is to get your chimney inspected annually, at which time the buildup of highly flammable creosote will be removed.
Be a friend of fire prevention like Sparky the Dog and prevent a dangerous chimney fire by contacting us today for a chimney inspection and cleaning.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110