Kitchen fires are the leading cause of Las Vegas fires. According to the NationalFire Protection Association® (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
"The most important step you should take before making a meal is to 'Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!'" said Jeff Buchanan, Fire Chief for the city of Las Vegas. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”
Here are some safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
- Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Adultsupervision is the best way to prevent cooking burns in children -- 53% ofcooking injuries were children 12 and under; 63% of burns caused by boilingwater were children under 12 years old; 97% of burns caused by hot soup werechildren under 9 years old. (UMC Burn Unit stats, January 2010 – July 31, 2020)
- Find fun, educational activities to do with your kids this week by visiting this website.
In addition to cooking fires, some of the other leading causes of fire and burns in Las Vegas include:
- Electrical-related fires, such as wiring and electrical appliances;
- Careless smoking, especially in combination with medical oxygen. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires;
- Combustible items too close to a heat source, including space heaters and water heaters.
Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
Fire Drills At Home
Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice: Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows. Know two ways out of every room. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Establish a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting. Practice what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast. Practice using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave. Never go back into a building for people, pets, or things. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
History of Fire Prevention Week
The history of National Fire Prevention Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred Oct. 9, 1871. The fire burned for 27 hours, killed more than 250 people, left more than 100,000 people homeless and destroyed nearly 18,000 buildings. Although the exact cause of the fire has never been determined, one popular legend blames Mrs. Catherine O’Leary’s cow for the blaze after it kicked over a lantern and started a barn on fire. Regardless of how the fire started, it nearly destroyed Chicago. Firefighters and equipment from as far as St. Louis and New York City responded to the blaze.
In 1911, on the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, fire officials from across the country sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, advocating an annual observance about fire safety and education. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation. Since 1922, National Fire Prevention Week has been observed Sunday through Saturday of the week of Oct. 9. In addition, the president has proclaimed a National Fire Prevention Week every year since 1925. It is the longest-running public-awareness campaign in the United States.