The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office (HCFMO) is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) - the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, ‘Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”
Cooking, Key cause of home fires
The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half or approx. 44% of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Furthermore, two-thirds or approx. 66% of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
2020 Fire Prevention Week campaign
The HCFMO encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme
The HCFMO encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme. “The most important step you should take before making a meal is to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” said Fire Chief, Laurie L. Christensen, of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office (HCFMO).
Laurie adds, “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”
Importance of staying alert while cooking
“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s Vice President of outreach and advocacy, adding “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer and avoiding distractions, such as electronics or TV are steps that everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”
The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office wants to share safety tips to keep people safe from cooking fire incidents. The safety tips include:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling. If one has to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- If simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly and remain in the home, while the food is cooking. Also, one can use a timer during cooking.
- Be alert when cooking. One cannot be alert if they are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes them drowsy.
- Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when 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.
The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office is hosting a coloring contest for Fire Prevention Week and National Night Out. The grand prize is a mini-parade with an HCFMO fire truck and HazMat response vehicle.