Fire Prevention Week
October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week™. This year’s theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU: Pay attention to fire prevention.” This is because cooking fires cause nearly half of all house fires.
Most cooking fires are due to unattended fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking was the leading cause of reported home fire and home fire injuries in 2015-2019 and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2019, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
The Concord Fire Department recommends the following tips to prevent cooking fires:
Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
Have a “kid and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
Never leave your grill unattended.
If you have a cooking fire:
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 after you leave.
If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 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.