The Morgantown Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to recognize Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 4 through Oct. 10. This year’s theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the first time in over 35 years, MFD will not be conducting their famous fire safety puppet shows for Monongalia County Schools. We are extremely disappointed but hope to see everyone back next year!
The MFD is reminding citizens about some simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half, or 44 percent, of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds, or 66 percent, of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
Cooking fire safety would seem to be common sense, but often simple distractions cause careless accidents. The best advice is to stay in the kitchen as much as possible, use a timer, and avoid distractions such as electronics or TV.
Some other things to remember are:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you must 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 must 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.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.
Image of the NFPA logo for this year's Fire Prevention Week.