(By Fire Chief Matt Love) I would like to take the opportunity to recognize this year’s Fire Prevention Week (which was October 4-10) campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” This year’s theme worked to educate everyone about the simple, but important actions one can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.
Cooking is necessary and often relaxing and fun. People like to gather in the kitchen to talk and enjoy time with one another. Unfortunately, cooking is also the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Life is so busy, and people are accustomed to multitasking, but in just a few minutes away from a stove a small flame or overheated oil can start a fire.
Each year, fire departments in the United States respond to thousands of cooking fires in residential buildings. These fires cause hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and several hundred million dollars in property loss.
Our community can certainly relate to this, as just days ago we responded to another structure fire caused by cooking. Here are a few tips to help you avoid the dangers of unattended cooking fires.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, frying, boiling, and grilling.
- If you must leave, turn off the burner.
- When baking in the oven, set a timer to remind you that you are cooking. It is very easy to get distracted by electronics and lose track of time.
- Before you turn on the heat, move dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper, curtains or anything that can burn away from the stove.
- When you are finished, wipe up any spills of food left on the stove.
- When oil gets too hot, it can easily start a fire. Keep a pot lid or a cookie sheet nearby when you are cooking.
- If the pot starts to flame, put the lid or cookie sheet over the pot, turn off the heat and let it cool.
Your Fort Myers Beach Fire Department is dedicated to Shaping Our Community through Excellence. If you are interested in learning more about fire prevention and ways to make your home safer, or any other services offered by our team, please call us at (239) 590-4200, email us at Info@FMBFire.org, or visit us on the web at www.FMBFire.org.