COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? â??Prevent Kitchen Firesâ?? is this yearâ??s message for Fire Prevention Week, which is held by the Columbia Fire Department.
In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
â??With cooking being the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries it is imperative that we are always attentive when cooking,â?? said Chief Aubrey Jenkins. â??Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize, and having a tested escape plan is essential to ensuring your familyâ??s safety if a fire was to occur when cooking.â??
To prevent kitchen fires, Chief Jenkins recommends the following tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
- If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you
- If you have young children, use the stoveâ??s back burners whenever possible.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove
- When you cook, wearing clothing with tight-fitting sleeves
- Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else than that can burn, away from your stovetop.
- Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops
The Columbia Fire Department will kick off Fire Prevention Week with a parade on Monday, October 7th at 11.00am, which will start at the intersection of Main and Laurel St.