Kitchen fire prevention urged for Mountain Area

— Cal FireOctober 8, 2013 

In observance of Fire Prevention Week, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU) is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind area residents to 'Prevent Kitchen Fires.'

During this year's fire safety campaign, Cal Fire is helping to spread the word about the dangers of kitchen fires — most of which result from unattended cooking — and teaching people how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen — more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

Many times when Cal Fire responds to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents state they only left the kitchen for a few minutes. That is all it takes for a dangerous fire to start.

Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:

Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.

If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.

If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.

Hot grease causes severe burns — avoid using deep fat fryers around children.

Never pour water on a grease fire — turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid, or close the oven door.

Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.

When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

If your clothing should catch fire, stop, drop, and roll to smother flames.

Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.

Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.

Follow instructions carefully when using microwave ovens.

Additional information may be obtained at your local Cal Fire station or by calling (209) 966-3622 or on the Cal fire website at fire.ca.gov and readyforwildfire.org.

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