The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Mdewakanton Public Safety (MPS) will join communities across the country in recognizing Fire Prevention Week on October 8-14.
Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has observed Fire Prevention Week with national recognition of the initiative coming in 1925—making it the longest-running public health observance in the United States. During Fire Prevention Week, children and adults learn how to stay safe in case of a fire while firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “cooking safety starts with you” with the goal of educating the public about simple yet important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States while unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths.
Cooking with caution tips
- Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels—away from your cooking area. Turn pot and pan handles toward the back of the stove.
- Stay nearby if you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the area for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to reminder you that you are cooking.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around areas where hot food and drink is prepared or carried.
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove, stovetop or grill.
- Keep a lid nearby in case of fire and cover until it is completely cooled. Turn off the burner. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher in a nearby and easily reachable place. Make sure both are maintained regularly.
- Never use water to try and extinguish a cooking fire. Cooking oils and greases are not absorbed by water and using water may make the situation worse.
- If you have any doubt, just get out! Close doors behind you to help contain the fire and call 9-1-1 from outside the home.
Portions of this article were provided by the National Fire Protection Association. Learn more about Fire Prevention Week and how “cooking safety starts with you” by visiting nfpa.org.