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Preventing kitchen fires is the focus of Fire Prevention Week
Put a lid on it.
That’s the advice from Richmond Fire-Rescue deputy chief Kim Howell if you’re cooking and a pot catches fire.
“Three things are needed for a fire—fuel, ignition and oxygen. By placing a lid over the pot you’re taking one away.”
Oct. 6 to 12 is Fire Prevention Week, and this year the focus is on preventing kitchen fires and focusing on the importance of cooking and kitchen safety.
Cooking may bring families and friends together, but it is also the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries.
Seventy-two per cent of structural fires begin in the kitchen. So learning to prevent them is in your best interest.
“Frying is a common cooking practice and when you’re using grease you need to follow safety precautions,” explains Howell. “It’s better to use an appropriate appliance for deep frying.”
But a kitchen fire doesn’t always mean a grease fire, she stresses. And they can start simply by leaving food unattended.
Further, Howell advises to keep your stove top clean, free of clutter, and well away from combustibles such as paper towels, dish cloths and even plastic utensils.
Keeping a fire extinguisher handy—and knowing how to use it—is also encouraged.
Between 2008 and 2010, Richmond Fire-Rescue responded to 30 per cent more cooking-related fires than the previous three-year period.
“It’s an ongoing effort to educate people,” says Howell.
Next week, the public is encouraged to visit their local fire hall for information on fire safety. Open houses are planned for:
•Monday, Oct. 7 at Brighouse fire hall (6960 Gilbert Rd.) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
•Tuesday, Oct. 8 at Steveston fire hall (11011 No. 2 Rd.) from 6;30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
•Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Sea Island fire station (3911 Russ Baker Way) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
•Thursday, Oct. 10 at Hamilton fire station (22451 Westminster Hwy.) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
•Friday, Oct. 11 at Shellmont fire station (9400 No. 4 Rd.) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Information booths will also be set up over the following two weekends:
•Saturday, Oct. 5 at Home Depot (2700 Sweden Way) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
•Saturday, Oct. 12 at Canadian Tire (3500 No. 3 Rd) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
•Saturday, Oct. 12 at Canadian Tire (11388 Steveston Hwy.) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit Fire Prevention Canada’s website at www.fpw.org