Fire department encouraging residents to “serve up fire safety in the kitchen”

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by iStock

The Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

The campaign works to educate the public about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada. The majority of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Most home fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA.

“Staying in the kitchen while cooking, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

AFD 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 Chief Kevin Weinberger.

“A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”

In a recent press release, AFD shared the following 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 food.
  • 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
  • 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 have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy, the press release states.

It also suggests always keeping 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.

The release recommends having a “kid-free zone” of at least one metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

During Fire Prevention Week, local families are encouraged to enter a draw to win fire safety equipment by printing off and colouring an image of Sparky and taking a photo of themselves practicing fire safety in their homes.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week resources online, including full contest details, click here.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, click here.