The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and its 17 fire halls are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years – to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” The campaign, which runs October 4-10 works to educate everyone about simple, but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
According to the Office of the Fire Commissioner, cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire injuries in British Columbia.
“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”
The RDCK and its 17 fire halls encourage all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme, especially during COVID-19 when people are spending more time at home cooking for themselves.
“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” said Gord Ihlen, Regional Assistant Fire Chief, RDCK. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”
The RDCK wants to share 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. 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, and 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 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.
The BC Fire Training Officers Association, BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of BC, First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, FortisBC and Office of the Fire Commissioner are hosting a fire and burn prevention contest, with an opportunity to win some fantastic prizes for students in our community. Details on the contest, including deadlines, rules and prizes, can be found on the Office of the Fire Commissioners’ website.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week, please contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner at OFC@gov.bc.ca For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.