The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years – has announced this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, which is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10, this year.

The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44 percent) of reported home fires started in the kitchen.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

Everyone is encouraged to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme.

What follows are some safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire:

• 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 three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.

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