QUINCY, Mass. — Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and resulting injuries in the U.S., according to the National Fire Prevention Association.
That’s why the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”
Marked this year Oct. 4-10, the nation’s longest-running public health observance is intended to educate the public about fire safety and prevention. It was named a national occasion in 1925 by then-President Calvin Coolidge.
Almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen, according to the NFPA.
And 66 percent of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
NFPA tips to avoid a cooking fire include:
— Never leave cooking food unattended. If you have to leave, turn off the stove.
If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while the food is cooking, and set a timer.
— Stay alert when cooking. Avoid cooking when tired or after taking medicine or consuming alcohol.
— Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when 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 foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit fpw.org.