Fire Prevention Week takes place Oct. 6-12, 2013 and this year, you will be hearing a lot about kitchen fires. That’s because a quarter of all house fires in 2010 in Alberta started in the kitchen. We spend a lot of time with our families in the kitchen – cooking, talking about our day, doing homework.
For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of our home. But the kitchen is also a place with a number of dangers if we don’t practise basic fire safety.
As cooking is the number-one cause of home fires and home fire injuries, the theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Prevent Kitchen Fires” and the first week of October will promote safe kitchen habits with stoves, microwaves and other appliances. Remaining attentive while cooking and managing how close children and pets are to anything hot will help keep families safe.
Here are a few safety tips to get you started on making your kitchen and home a safer place to cook in:
- When you fry, grill or broil food, remain in the kitchen until this cooking is complete and the heat source has been turned off. It is a good idea to never leave cooking food unattended.
- Maintain a children- and pet-free zone at least one metre from the stove and any other sources of cooking.
- Always turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
- Keep a lid and oven mitt nearby when you are cooking to use in case of a grease fire.
- If you have a grease fire, slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
- Unplug electrical appliances when not being used.
- Install a smoke detector near, but not in, the kitchen.
- Always roll up sleeves and tie back long hair.
You can do a lot to prevent kitchen fires, although you can’t remove every possible source of a kitchen fire.
However, you can minimize fire risks by removing hazards and maintaining your kitchen. Fire Prevention Week reminds all Albertans about the tragedies and loss fires can cause.
More importantly, it reminds Albertans about the ways they can prevent fires and protect themselves and their families.
For more information on fire prevention or Fire Prevention Week, please visit:
Michelle Hodder, Health promotion facilitator; Alberta Health Services