Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years —to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) 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’s 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.”
RCFR encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme.
“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” said RCFR Lt./Assistant Fire Marshal Joshua Sanders. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”
RCFR wants to share 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 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
A ”Fire Prevention Week” Proclamation for Rutherford County was presented at the County Commission Meeting on September 17, 2020, stating, “We, the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners, do hereby recognize October 4-10, 2020 as Fire Prevention Week throughout the Rutherford County, and urge all citizens of Rutherford County to check their kitchens for fire hazards and to use safe cooking practices during Fire Prevention Week 2020, and to support the many public safety activities and efforts of Rutherford County’s fire and emergency services.”
RCFR will be sharing cooking and other fire safety messages on its social media platforms, both Facebook and Twitter, throughout the entire month of October, as well as in public service announcements on RCTV.
The department will host a Fire Prevention Open House at Rockvale Elementary (6550 State Hwy 99) on Saturday, October 31 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The event will be outside with protective health measures in place due to COVID-19. Participants are encouraged to wear a face covering when social distancing is impractical. Hand sanitizing stations will be available, as well as masks for those who forget one.
“This is just a time that the kids can enjoy spending time outside and learning about our fire department, our apparatus, our equipment, and most importantly, fire safety,” said Sanders.
For more information about RCFR, the Fire Prevention Open House, or any other programs/events please visit http://firerescue.rutherfordcountytn.gov/ or contact 615-867-4626.
For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.
Take a moment to watch this message from some of Smyrna Fire Department to learn more about how to keep your family safe in the kitchen: