JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s national fire prevention week - this year’s focus is kitchen safety.
The national fire protection association says cooking is the number 1 cause of all home fires and injuries --and unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
Fire safety officials say cooking equipment causes 49% of all home fires in the country and nearly a quarter of home fire deaths each year.
There are simple but important actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe while in the kitchen.
The National Fire Protection Association says there are several ways you can stay safe from fires when cooking:
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use a timer to remind you what you’re cooking and for how long.
- Be fully alert while cooking.
- Always keep protective gear around - including but not limited to oven mitts and pan lids.
- And establish a kid-free zone of at least 3 feet around areas where hot food is prepared.
Fire safety officials say the top 5 common mistakes people make while cooking that increase their risk of a fire are:
- Having too many distractions.
- Using your stove as a countertop.
- Cooking with oil on high heat - kitchen fires caused by cooking oil lead to the most destructive and damaging types of home fires.
- Wearing loosely fitted clothing while cooking.
- And not having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
While the theme may change each year, Fire Prevention Week always encourages families to have a fire escape plan in place. When creating this fire plan include these steps:
- Make sure there are two ways out of each room.
- A clear path to outside from each exit.
- Make sure everyone in your family knows the plan.
- Practice the plan at least twice a year.
For more fire safety tips, click here.