It’s Fire Prevention Week. From October 6-12, McKinney Fire Department is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind residents to ‘Prevent Kitchen Fires.’ In the U.S., cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home 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.
On the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 6, the McKinney Fire Dept. responded to the report of a kitchen fire at 703 Bumpas. “This incident reinforces the Fire Prevention Week message,” commented MFD spokesperson Stacie Durham. “The fire was contained to the kitchen in the apartment of origin; and, luckily, no one was injured; but, it could have ended much differently.”
“Often when we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen, residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes,” noted Durham. “Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach McKinney residents before they experience a dangerous and potentially fatal lesson.”
Knowing what to do in the event of a kitchen fire is important.
- · Always 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.
- · In the event of a grease fire, never throw water on it. Turn off the heat and slide a lid over the top of the pan. Never attempt to remove the hot pan from the residence.
- · When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in your home, and use a timer.
- · If there are young children in the home, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three 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 stovetop.
- · Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
Though devastating to the residents of the unit affected at 703 Bumpas, the outcome of this fire could have been much different. A recent fire at the Virginia Oaks apartment complex, while not kitchen related, resulted in eight units destroyed and more than 30 residents displaced. The Virginia Oaks fire has been ruled accidental.
The McKinney Fire Department offers a variety of fire and life safety educational programs for citizens of all ages. If you would like to schedule a program for your group, please call 972-547-2850 or visit www.mckinneyfire.org. For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit www.nfpa.org.