Recipe for Success: Oct. 4-10 is National Fire Prevention Week (FPW)
FPW 2020: “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”What should be the first step in serving up a delicious meal? Not the recipe (although we've got plenty of tasty ones for you this month!)...the first ingredient in any meal is fire safety in the kitchen! There’s nothing like spending time in the kitchen cooking a delicious meal for family and friends or an appetizing treat for yourself. But do you know the important steps to take long before anyone takes the first bite?
It may sound like a no-brainer...but did you know that cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, and that unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen? According to National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen. The NFPA and FPW offer these tips for keeping your kitchen cooking safe.
🔥 Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
🔥 If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
🔥 You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
🔥 Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
🔥 Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Be Safe and Smart: Additional Tips
According to NFPA statistics, in 2017 U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016. In fact, the majority of U.S. fire deaths (four out of five) occur at home each year, and the fire death rate (per 1000 home fires reported to the fire department) was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.
“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.”
A fire at home can start for many reasons—candles, cooking, electrical issues, heating, and smoking materials—to name a few. Because the causes are myriad, practicing fire prevention can keep you and your family safe. Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to brush up on prevention tactics and prepare your family in case disaster strikes.
Here are a few additional tips to consider during this very important home safety week—and all year long.
5 First and Foremosts
1. First and foremost, install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home – including the basement. Three out of five home fire fatalities happen in homes with no or non-working smoke alarms.
2. Next, identify potential fire hazards. Do you have frayed or exposed electrical wires? Are space heaters located near curtains or other flammable materials? Fix what you can and know where other potential dangers lie.
3. Install fire safety windows and doors. If that is not an option, use fire retardant products to fire proof windows and doors. This slows down the fire and helps prevent it from spreading.
4. Plan and practice an escape route. Determine at least two ways to escape from your home and select a location outside for everyone to meet. Also, plan what to do with family pets and know who to call for emergency assistance.
5. Many children are not aware of potential fire hazards. Check out these fire prevention tips for kids to ensure proper fire safety and prevention is practiced by the entire family.
Remember the 3 L's
🔥“LOOK” for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
🔥 “LISTEN” for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
🔥“LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
Develop an Escape Plan
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
Why should a solid fire escape plan be the cornerstone of your family’s home safety toolkit? Consider:
🔥 Home escape planning and practice ensure that everyone knows what to do in a fire and is prepared to escape quickly and safely.
🔥 Today’s homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.
🔥 When the smoke alarm sounds in a real fire, it’s too late to start making a plan.
NFPA offers these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
🔥 Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
🔥 Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
🔥 Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
🔥 Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
🔥 Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
🔥 Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
The National Fire Protection Association is the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, which is held every year the week of October 9 (the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire). To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!", and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.
Downloads, graphics, and statistics courtesy of and press release content reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation © NFPA.