Fire Department participates in Fire Prevention Week
The High Point Fire Department wants to help you prevent kitchen fires.
The department will join forces with the National Fire Protection Association Oct. 6-12 to raise awareness about kitchen fires.
This year’s safety campaign focuses on firefighters and safety advocates spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires and teaching local residents how to prevent them from starting.
The department will be going to several community events, including conducting school tours and day-care visits and going to fall festivals.
“We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they’ve suffered a damaging lesson,” said Capt. Denita Lynch. “We are usually bombarded with requests. We aim to fill them and get the word out. Some schools call as early as July.”
According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen. Cooking fires also are the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
“Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of fires in High Point and across the nation,” Lynch said. “Often we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen with the residents telling us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes, left the house, fell asleep or turned the wrong burner on.”
Safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates emphasize include staying in the kitchen while you are cooking food, and if you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. Also when cooking, check your food regularly.
Families with young children should use the stove’s back burners whenever possible, keeping children and pets away from the stove.
“We don’t have a lot of burn injuries with pets and children being burned,” Lynch said. “We do teach young mothers to be very cautious while cooking on the front burners. If they have young children, when they are hungry, they are more likely to pull the handle off the stove and end up with scold injuries. We try to teach them to use back burners instead.”
They also recommend wearing clothing with tight-fitting sleeves, cleaning up food and grease from burners and stovetops, and keeping potholders, over mitts, towels, plastic bags and utensils away from the stovetop.
“Sometimes things are just too close to the stove,” Lynch said. “If you’ve got stuff that is too close to the stove, they can be knocked over on the stove and ignited very easily.”
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