Fire Prevention Week Focuses on Kitchen Safety

Ringing Hill Fire Company volunteers bring calm to the chaos – and what is more chaotic than realizing tonight’s dinner just turned into a cooking fire?

That is why Ringing Hill is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) — the 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!” from Oct. 4-10. The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires as well as home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

Cooking fires are of course preventable and Ringing Hill Fire Company encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme. “With COVID-19, people were cooking a lot more and there was an increase in cooking fires, which can spread quickly and be easily avoided,” said Assistant Chief Derek Dry. “We want to educate the public and help them stay safe.”

To prevent cooking fires at home:

  • 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.

If keeping the public safe and making a difference in the community sounds appealing, consider volunteering with Ringing Hill. “We are always seeking volunteer firefighters to respond to fires, motor vehicle accidents, off-road calls and more,” said Dry. “No experience or training is necessary to join, so if you think you might like it, give it a shot and we will train you.”