According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half (49%)) of all home fires involving cooking equipment; cooking is also the leading cause of home fire injuries (42%) and 20% of reported home fire deaths. State Farm and the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) have teamed up to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week™ campaign, “Cooking Safety Starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.™.” from October 8-15, to educate everyone about simple but important steps they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
State Farm agents are donating over 4,500 “Cooking Safety Starts with YOU” and “Sparky the Fire Dog” fire safety kits to fire departments and elementary schools across the country. In Florida alone, 500 fire kits are being donated by State Farm agents.
“This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign works to highlight when and where cooking fires happen most often, along with simple ways to minimize those risks,” said Lorraine Carli, National Fire Protection Association Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy.
Florida Fire Departments and local State Farm Agents are encouraging residents to cook with caution. Everyone needs to make fire prevention an important part of their overall home safety plan. This also is a good time of year to check your smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning.
Here are some valuable cooking safety tips through this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign:
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to prevent spills and burns.
• Always keep a lid nearby when cooking on the stove. If a small fire starts, slide the lid over the pan
and turn off the burner.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for
even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is
cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep kids and pets 3 feet from the stove/oven and where hot foods and liquids are being served.
• Watch what you heat. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains
— away from your stovetop.
• Be alert. If you are tired or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove/oven.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay Attention to Fire Prevention.”, visit www.fpw.org.
To download FREE “Sparky the Fire Dog” educational resource such as videos, games and fire safety lesson plans for elementary school students: https://sparky.org/