By: City of Portsmouth
Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2023, and this year’s theme is “Cooking Safety Starts with You! Pay attention to fire prevention.” This year’s focus on cooking educates the public about simple but necessary steps to help reduce the risk when cooking at home, keeping themselves and those around them safe.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half (49 percent) of all home fires involving cooking equipment; cooking is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and related deaths.
In addition, NFPA data shows that cooking is the only major cause of fire that resulted in more fires and fire deaths from 2014 to 2018 than from 1980 to 1984. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will work to promote tips, guidelines, and recommendations that can help significantly reduce the risk of having a cooking fire.
Following are cooking safety messages that support this year’s theme, “Cooking Safety Starts with You! Pay Attention to Fire Prevention”:
- Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking. Set a timer for foods with longer cooking times, such as simmering or baking, to help monitor them carefully.
- Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
- Turn the pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Create a “kid and pet-free zone of at least three feet (one meter) around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- If you need a smoke alarm or need your smoke alarm checked, please get in touch with Captain Charisse Orton with Portsmouth Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services at 757-393 8765