Next week is the 101st celebration of Fire Prevention Week! This National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-sponsored event is held every October and this year runs from October 8 -14. The 2023 Fire Prevention Week (FPW) campaign theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention!™”. The goal is to increase public awareness about fire hazards involving cooking and to educate people on how to prevent them.
According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half of all home fires involving cooking equipment. Cooking is also the leading cause of home fire injuries, with unattended cooking being the most frequent cause of home cooking fires and related deaths.
The good news is that most cooking fires are preventable. Cooking safety tips that support this year’s FPW theme include:
- Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking and stay in the kitchen as much as possible. For foods with longer cooking times, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.
- Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, and paper towels away from the stovetop.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is being prepared or carried.
- Turn pot handles to the back of the stove and keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any doubts about fighting a fire, get out! Close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or other local emergency number from outside your home.
For additional information about how you can participate in Fire Prevention Week, visit NFPA’s FPW website or contact us. Stay tuned for next week’s Fire Prevention Week blog on fire safety in the laboratory!
This blog was written by Beth Graham, Director of Quality, Research, and Training