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NEWS | Sept. 27, 2013

Fire Prevention Week: Prevent Kitchen Fires

By Christopher Shaw 628th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector

It's time for Fire Prevention Week, and from Oct. 6 through12, the Joint Base Charleston Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association to remind local residents to prevent kitchen fires. During this year's fire safety campaign, firefighters and safety advocates will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires, most which result from unattended cooking, and teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, 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.

"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Greg Russell, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron chief of fire prevention. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."

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.

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

· 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.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country and is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The base fire department will be conducting static displays, information booths and training sessions at various times throughout the week at the Air Base and Naval Weapons Station Exchanges. For more information contact your fire prevention office at 963-3122 on the Air Base or 764-7890 on the Weapons Station.