The day before a kitchen fire causes $30,000 damage to a Batavia home, the Geneva Fire Department issues a press release announcing the theme for the upcoming Fire Prevention Week: “Preventing Kitchen Fires.”
"The Geneva Fire Department wants to emphasize the importance of safety in what often is referred to as the heart of every home — the kitchen," says the press release from the city of Geneva, sent on Thursday, Oct. 3.
During the 2013 Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12, the Fire Department will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires and how to avoid them in the first place
According to the National Fire Protection Association, most home fires result from unattended cooking. That wasn't the case in the Friday, Oct. 4, fire in Batavia, which officials believe was started by a faulty dishwasher.
Still, two of every five house fires begin in the kitchen, which is more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires also are the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
“Often when we are called to a fire that started in the kitchen, residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes,” Fire Chief Steve Olson said. “Sadly, that is all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they have suffered a damaging lesson.”
Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be highlighting include:
- 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 3 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 stovetop.
- Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
Supported by Fire Departments across the country, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at www.fpw.org.