Watch What You Heat
By Mr. Dean De Guzman, Assistant fire prevention chief
/ Published September 21, 2006
HOLLOMAN AFB, NM --
Fire Prevention Week kicks off Oct. 8-14 and Holloman Fire and Emergency Services is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association to remind local residents to prevent cooking fires: "Watch What You Heat."
During this year's fire safety campaign, firefighters and safety advocates will spread the word about the dangers of cooking fires - most of which result from unattended cooking - and teach local residents how to prevent cooking fires from starting in the first place.
According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires.
One out of three home fires begins in the kitchen -- more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Mr. Terry Muller, Fire Inspector. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."
Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing 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.
· 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 stove top.
· Clean up food and grease from burners and stove tops.
Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. This is the 85th year fire departments will observe Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.