Avoid kitchen fires with these tips


— As part of Fire Prevention Week the Annapolis Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief David Stokes, will be working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to focus on educating local residents about the dangers of 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 of which result from leaving food on a hot surface unattended. According to the NFPA, two out of five 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.

“Our citizens need to understand that a kitchen fire can start in a matter of seconds,” Annapolis Fire Chief David Stokes said. “We hope that Fire Prevention Week will allow us the chance to reach out to residents in the community and educate them on the dangers of kitchen fires before they suffer a life-threatening situation.”

Here are some safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates emphasize:

•Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.

•If you must leave the kitchen, 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 to check your stove frequently.

•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 stove top.

•Clean up food and grease from burners and stove tops.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. It is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. The 1871 fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. The fire began on October 8 and continued to burn through the city, doing most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

For more information about fire prevention, visit: www.nfpa.org.