October 9–15 is Fire Prevention Week and officials are calling on Edmontonians and all Albertans to stay fire safe throughout the home, but especially in the kitchen where most house fires occur.
The theme for Fire Prevention Week 2011 is Protect your family from fire.
“For the last five years, cooking has been the number one cause of fires and fire injuries in Edmonton homes,” said Fire Chief Ken Block. “With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and many of us planning family meals and gatherings, we’re reminding residents to practice fire prevention in the kitchen. Regardless of the season, safety should be our number one priority.”
Between 2006 and 2010, there were 432 cooking fires in Edmonton accounting for more than 20 per cent of all fires in our city and 38 per cent of all fire injuries. Edmonton’s numbers reflect statistics from across Alberta.
“A home fire can become life threatening in as little three minutes,” said Fire Commissioner, Trent West, Alberta Municipal Affairs. “Every Albertan should take steps to prevent fires, have working smoke alarms and practice a home fire escape plan to ensure their family can evacuate safely.”
Officials are also reminding citizens to always use an ashtray if they smoke. The warning comes after a carelessly discarded cigarette ignited an apartment fire on October 1, 2011. The fire caused $5 million in damages and displaced more than 200 residents.
Protect your family from fire by following these tips:
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Use back burners whenever possible and keep pot handles turned in to the centre of the stove.
- Have a childfree perimeter around any cooking appliances.
- Wear fitted clothes to avoid dangling fabrics that could catch fire.
- Keep the area around cooking appliances clear of anything combustible such as tea towels, oven mitts or wooden or plastic utensils.
- Keep cooking appliances clean and free of dried-on food or grease.
- Always keep a lid within reach in case a fire starts.
- Avoid cooking if you are tired, drowsy or under the influence of medication or alcohol.
- Fry foods in a temperature-controlled electric skillet or fryer. These appliances are designed for a maximum temperature of 200 degrees Celsius to prevent cooking oil from catching fire.
What to do if a fire starts on your stove:
- Remain calm.
- Do not move the pot or pan.
- Simply slide a lid over the pot or pan. This cuts off the oxygen supply and smothers the fire.
- Turn off the heat source.
- If the fire spreads, evacuate your home and dial 911 immediately.
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