October is Fire Prevention Month, and the Metropolitan Utilities District wants to remind everyone on fire safety, especially in the kitchen.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen and cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries. Many residents claim they “only left the kitchen for a few minutes” and sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. Below are some tips when cooking:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food. If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove or appliance. Most kitchen fires result from unattended cooking.
• When simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
• Don’t disable smoke alarms when cooking. If they alarm regularly during normal cooking practices, consider relocating them to a safe alternative position. For more information on smoke alarms, visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms.
• If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners, if possible, and 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 or melt, away from your stovetop.
• Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
In case of a fire, leave your house immediately and close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 after you leave. For fire protection and public safety, did you know the District supplies water to and maintains over 28,000 hydrants in the metro Omaha area?
Remember, it’s also important to have your heating system and chimney inspected every year. Properly-operating appliances help prevent carbon monoxide from escaping into your home.
For more fire safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration, check out http://www.usfa.fema.gov/.