This week is National Fire Prevention Week and an important time to look at preventing fires both here and at home.
Did you know that cooking fires are the #1 reason of home fires and home fire injuries? In 2005, cooking equipment was involved in 146,400 reported home structure fires, the largest share for any major cause. These fires resulted in 480 deaths, 4,690 injuries, and $876 million in direct property damage.
The majority of home fires, over 40%, start in the kitchen. Most home cooking fires (67%) in 2005 started with the range or stove with electric ones leading the pack.
Can you guess what the leading cause of these kitchen fires was? (let them answer)
Unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to ignition in home cooking fires, accounting for one-third of such fires. It is important when you are using the stove top, especially when frying, that you are there monitoring the situation. Grease fires can quickly get out of control and spread to other areas of the kitchen quickly. If you do have a grease fire . . . a lid, not water or baking soda is your best method of taking care of it. Cover the pan, turn off the burner and if possible move the pan off the burner.
Just as important is that you know when the fire is too much for you to handle. More than half of all cooking fire injuries occurred when people tried to fight the fire themselves. The fire was either too large or more likely they utilized an inappropriate method to fight the fire.
Your best bet for kitchen fires is prevention. Be there when using the range or oven.
For more information you can visit www.firepreventionweek.org