(BLOOMINGTON) - During Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6 - 12, Bloomington Fire Department is joining with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to remind local residents to "Prevent Kitchen Fires."
As part of this year's fire safety campaign, fire departments will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires - most of which result from unattended cooking and teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.
According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen - more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of house fire-related injuries.
"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 Fire Prevention Officer Scott Smith. "Sadly, that's 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've suffered a damaging lesson."
Firefighters and safety advocates emphasize the following safety tips:
- Stay in the kitchen while 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.
- While 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 stovetop.
- Always clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
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