Norriton Fire Engine Company responded to more than 500 calls last year, and among house fires in the U.S., the number one cause is cooking.
To help keep East Norriton Township and the surrounding community safe, Norriton Fire Engine Company is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years —to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” from Oct. 4-10. The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
According to NFPA, cooking is not only the leading cause of home fires but also home fire injuries in the U.S. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
Cooking fires are of course preventable and Norriton Fire Engine Company encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme. “More people were cooking at home during COVID-19, which led to more kitchen fires,” said Chief George Myers. “Cooking fires are easily avoidable and we want to educate the public to keep them safe.”
To prevent cooking fires at home:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
- Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
If keeping the public safe and serving the community sounds appealing, consider volunteering with Norriton Fire Engine Company. “We are always seeking volunteer firefighters to respond to fires in residential and commercial buildings, motor vehicle accidents and rescue calls,” said Myers. “You will receive high-quality training with us to master new skills and solve problems. With no prior experience needed, there is nothing stopping you from signing up.”