Each year, national Fire Prevention Week is recognized both locally and nationally with a different theme to focus on fire safety. This year, the theme chosen by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is: “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention.” The NFPA released the following tips on ways to stay safe and smart when it comes to cooking:
“...cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half (49 percent) of all home fires involving cooking equipment; cooking is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and related deaths. In addition, NFPA data shows that cooking is the only major cause of fire that resulted in more fires and fire deaths in 2014-2018 than in 1980-1984.
“These numbers tell us that more public awareness is needed around when and where cooking hazards exist...,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of the Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will work to promote tips, guidelines, and recommendations that can help significantly reduce the risk of having a cooking fire.”
Following are cooking safety messages that support this year’s theme:
• Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking.
• Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking.
• Create a “kid and pet free zone” of at least three feet around the cooking area.
“Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions that remove your focus from what’s on the stove are among the key messages for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign,” said Carli. (nfpa.org/News-and-Research)
This is the 101st year of Fire Prevention Week, and is the oldest recorded public health observance in the United States.
Locally, the Osceola Fire Department is hosting their 29th annual Fire Fair on Thursday, Oct. 5, in downtown Osceola. The fair runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and features a variety of activities for visitors of all ages, such as: touch-a-truck, fire truck rides, a bounce house, the Fire Education trailer, vehicle extrication demonstration, safety activities and more. If available, Life Flight will be downtown from 6 to 7 p.m. A free will donation soup supper will also be taking place at the fire hall throughout the event.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention,” visit www.fpw.org. Additional Fire Prevention Week resources for children, caregivers, and educators can be found at www.sparky.org and www.sparkyschoolhouse.org.