MARGATE – This week, Oct. 4-10, is National Fire Protection Week and the Margate City Fire Department is sharing this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” With more people cooking and eating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for everyone to take steps to ensure fire safety in the kitchen.
According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half of reported home fires started in the kitchen and two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said 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.”
“A cooking fire can grow quickly,” Fire Chief Dan Adams said. “I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”
Adams and the team at the Margate City Fire Department share these safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire.
- 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.
Adams also said the Margate City Fire Department is always available to install or provide free smoke detectors to residents upon request.
To schedule an installation, or for more information about Fire Prevention Week and fire safety assistance, contact the Margate City Fire Department at 609-822-5562.
Oh, and don’t be a Doofus.