Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored Fire Prevention Week (FPW). FPW was proclaimed a national observance in 1925, making it the longest-running public health observance in the United States. Fire Prevention Week is recognized every year on the week of October 9th to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The Great Chicago Fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. This year, Fire Prevention Week (FPW) is October 4th-10th. The NFPA sponsors FPW every year to help educate the public about fire safety and prevention measures.
- Fire Safety In The Kitchen
This year, the theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” Since cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, it is important to know some important actions that one can take to stay safe in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
- Don’t Leave Cooking Unattended
When one is frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food, always stay in the kitchen. Even if one leaves the kitchen for a short period of time, turn off the burner. It’s important to regularly check up on one's food when one is simmering, backing, or roasting food. Always use a timer to remind oneself that one is cooking and don’t cook when one has been consuming alcohol or are feeling drowsy.
- Clear Your Cooking Area
One should try to keep anything that can catch fire including oven mitts, wooden utensils, and towels away from the stovetop. Setting kid-free zone of 3 feet around the stove can prevent injuries or fire accidents. Always clean up food and grease from your stovetop.
- Prevent Kitchen Fires
While cooking, one should always keep a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts, one should cover the pan and turn off the burner. One should not discharge a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire. If there is a fire in ones's oven or microwave, one should keep the door closed and shut off the appliance.
- Prevent Burns & Scalds
Some ways to prevent burns and scalds include turning pot handles away from the stove’s edge and keep hot food and liquids away from the table and counter edges. One should keep your appliance cords coiled and away from counter edges. Always keep one's face away from the oven door when checking or removing food so heat or steam does not cause burns.