October 6-12th is Fire Prevention Week. Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services (VFRS) is joining forces with fire departments all across North America to remind residents that almost all kitchen fires can be prevented. The simple fix for preventing these unnecessary accidents is to be more attentive when cooking. Don’t leave a pot unattended on the stove and be cautious when cooking with oil and grease.
If you do have a kitchen fire, rule number one is; never put water on an oil or grease fire! Try to smother the fire with the lid of the pot and turn the heat off. If necessary, use an extinguisher to put it out. Call 911 so the fire department can ensure the fire is out.
Up to August 31st, VFRS has attended 222 kitchen fires, with the dollar loss at 2.7 million, an amount that is on course to exceed 2012’s 3.2 million dollar loss. Also of note is that two of the three 2012 fire deaths in Vancouver were directly related to cooking.
Here are some tips to keep you safe;
• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, if you must leave, turn the stove off
• Use your oven timer as reminder when you are cooking
• Don’t wear scarves or loose sleeves when cooking
• Keep items that can burn away from your stove top
• Test your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are working
• Have an ABC Extinguisher and learn how to use it