By Michael Nicklow
Joint Base Andrews Fire Department
It's time for Fire Prevention Week. Joint Base Andrews Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association October 6-12 to remind local residents to 'Prevent Kitchen Fires.' During this year's fire safety campaign, fire departments will spread the word about the dangers of kitchen fires--most of which result from unattended cooking—and teach local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.
According to the latest NFPA research, 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.
"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Assistant Chief Chris Sparks. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."
To prevent kitchen fires:
• Stay in the kitchen when you fry, grill, broil or boil food.
• If you must leave the room, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
• When you simmer, bake or roast food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you to check the food frequently.
• If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet 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 stove top.
• Clean up food and grease from burners and stove tops.
Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health and safety observance on record.
JBA 2013 National Fire Prevention Week Activities
6 - 8 p.m.
Home Traditions Parking lot
See the fire department extinguish a helicopter fire and cut up a car. Fire trucks will extinguish a real fire on an aircraft trainer using airport crash fire trucks. We'll also cut up a car using the "Jaws of Life." Sparky the fire dog will be there too.
Fire Station Open House
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Fire Station #2 (East Side)
Tour the fire station and vehicles. See where the firefighters live for their 24-hour shift. Barbecue lunch and fire department memorabilia are available.