The Camden Fire Department is once again taking part in the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) annual Fire Prevention Week campaign and wants to remind you: “Cooking safety starts with you. Pay attention to fire prevention!”
This year’s campaign is designed to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe when cooking. According to NFPA data, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, and unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths.
“Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires by far, accounting for half (49 percent) of all U.S. home fires,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. “These numbers tell us that there is still much work to do when it comes to better educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.”
Many cooking fires are easily preventable, though, by following these key safety tips:
- Watch what you heat, and always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking, and don’t cook when sleepy or distracted.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking — if a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not put water on a grease fire!
- Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Have working smoke alarms in your home. If a fire occurs that is larger than you can safely handle, get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 immediately!
The Camden Fire Department conducts public education programs throughout the year, including fire safety programs for school children, fire extinguisher demonstrations and lessons for local businesses, and station and equipment tours and demonstrations. For more information on scheduling a program, contact Captain Quincy White by visiting Central Station (140 Van Buren Street N.W.), or calling the department during business hours at (870) 836-2413.
Since 1922, the NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country.