October is the time of year we turn our focus to educating residents and students about fire prevention.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10. This year, we will focus on preventing cooking fires.

Did you know that half of all residential fires are caused by cooking?

Many cooking fires can be prevented with a few simple steps. Pay attention to your pots and pans on the stove top. It’s easy to get distracted by kids, pets or a knock at the door. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off your burner. Your food will still be there when you get back.

Grease fires are a main culprit of cooking fires. Improperly trying to extinguish a grease fire can have devastating results. The best way to put out a grease fire is to turn off the burner, if you can safely reach it, and cover the pan with a cookie sheet or lid. Do not move the pan or try to put water on the pan. This only makes the fire worse.

Three out of five home cooking fire injuries happen when the victim is trying to fight the fire themselves.  Loose sleeves are sometimes a factor in fatality fires. Wear short sleeves or roll up your sleeves when cooking. If you have any doubt about your ability to extinguish the fire, evacuate the house immediately, go to a safe place, and call 911.

If you call 911 and then realize the fire is minor enough you won’t need the fire department, do not cancel the response. Firefighters have tools to help remove smoke, and they will check areas that could possibly conceal a hidden fire. There is no fee for calling the fire department even if the emergency resolves itself before our arrival.

Remember, we are here to help. If you have any questions about fire prevention or fire safety, please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or call 788-3773.

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