Below is a news release from the Florence Fire Department.
October 6th through October 12th is Fire Prevention Week. The National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) theme this year is "Prevent Kitchen Fires".
The NFPA states that:
- U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-2011, resulting in 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct damage.
- Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
- Unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
- Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
- Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half (44%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.
This year the Florence Fire Department (FFD) has responded to approximately 35 residential structure fires with damage.
The FFD wants to remind everyone that by following a few simple safety tips, you can keep your family safe.
Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling 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.
Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove.
If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. If in doubt, get out of the home and call the fire department
Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, do not remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department.
If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department.
The FFD wants all residents to be sure that they have working smoke alarms properly placed throughout the home. It is very important to have a home escape plan and practice the plan often.
If you have any questions about fire safety please contact the Florence Fire Department.