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Serving up fire safety in the kitchen this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week

You won’t be able to visit the Chinook Winds Fire Station for Fire Safety Day this year, and the Airdrie Fire Department won’t be coming to your home to give you fire tips, smoke alarms, and CO2 detectors like they do most years, but you still have ways to recognize Fire Prevention Week and make sure you know how to keep your family safe.

Fire Prevention Week runs from today (October 4th) through October 10th and because of restrictions around COVID-19, this year’s event will take place online.

The Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) 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 campaign which works educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Deputy Chief with AFD Ken Hubbard says, despite the in-person aspect of the week being cancelled this year, it will still provide some very important information and activities that the family can do together.  “What we’re looking at is joining forces with our National Fire Prevention Association and other fire departments across Canada and over the next week providing NFPA videos and information sources that will be available on our website which will help residents go through a self-learning process and review on a number of very important topics.”

The theme of Fire Prevention Week this year is very timely with Thanksgiving right around the corner.   Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada with the majority of reported home fires started in the kitchen. “Serving Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” reminds everyone that most home fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

AFD encourages all residents to embrace the theme.

“Cooking fire is the number one cause of fires in the home, and the number one cause of home fire injuries,” says Hubbard.  “A leading cause of those is unattended cooking fires in the kitchen.  That’s why this year’s theme is so important.”

Hubbard shares the following safety tips to help prevent cooking fires:  

  • Never leave cooking food unattended.  Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. 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 have 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 one metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

AFD is providing some online resources in support of this year’s campaign. Hubbard says families are encouraged to enter a draw to win fire safety equipment by printing off and colouring an image of Sparky and taking a photo practicing fire safety in their homes.  There are plenty of videos and other resources online.

“There is some virtual tours of our fire stations that (people) can review as well as a kitchen fire home safety video which will be up and launched on Monday that’s been put together by our own firefighters in our Chinook Winds Station,” Hubbard says.

For more online Fire Prevention Week resources, including full contest details, you can visit www.airdrie.ca/firepreventionweek, or contact the Airdrie Fire Department at [email protected] or call them at 403 948-8800.  

More general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention can be found at fpw.org.

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