Kitchens the hot spot for fire prevention week

Ever been rushing to get to the ferry on time and had the nagging thought “did I turn the stove burner off?”

Ever been rushing to get to the ferry on time and had the nagging thought “did I turn the stove burner off?”

Kitchens are the focus for this year’s National Fire Prevention Week. Fire officials and government are encouraging British Columbians to make sure every member of their family knows the recipe for preventing kitchen fires during National Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 6-12).

Each year, Fire Prevention Week highlights a key aspect of fire education. This year’s theme, Prevent Kitchen Fires, focuses on ensuring every member of the family – from parents and university or college students to the youngest toddler – knows about safety in the kitchen.

Cooking is the leading cause of determined home fires and fire related injuries in British Columbia, with 33 per cent of fire injuries caused by cooking and equipment and 34 per cent of residential fires starting in the kitchen. There were 811 fires related to cooking equipment in 2012.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is a busy place where families gather first thing in the morning and where they get together to discuss the day, but it can also be a dangerous place. It’s important that everyone know how to stay safe while preparing and cooking meals, and I appreciate the efforts of fire officials

to educate the public,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton about this year’s campaign.

Emergency Management BC and the Office of the Fire Commissioner are supporting local fire officials during this year’s Fire Prevention Week with a fire safety activity booklet for children ages five to eight. It highlights fire and burn hazards, knowing what to do in case of a fire and home escape planning.

In addition to making sure everyone knows about kitchen safety, every household in B.C. should have working smoke alarms – particularly in sleeping areas – and an extinguisher. Families are encouraged to check smoke alarm batteries monthly and mark their calendars to ensure they clean the devices twice a year.

During Fire Prevention Week 2013, the Office of the Fire Commissioner is also supporting participating fire departments with an iPad contest for children ages five to eight (kindergarten to Grade 3).