Ringing Hill Campaigns to Prevent Kitchen Fires
LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Because cooking is the leading cause of home fires – as well as home fire injuries – in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association, Lower Pottsgrove’s Ringing Hill Fire Company has promoted a kitchen fire safety campaign intended to remind the public of simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
Cooking fires are preventable, Ringing Hill Assistant Chief Derek Dry says. “With COVID-19, people were cooking a lot more and there was an increase in cooking fires, which can spread quickly and be easily avoided.”
Few things are more chaotic than having a night’s dinner turn into a cooking fire. Association statistics indicate almost half (44 percent) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66 percent) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials, it adds.
Follow these tips, the fire company suggests, to prevent cooking fires at home:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you must 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 must 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.
- Maintain a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Keeping the public safe is part of what firefighters do, Dry acknowledges, and adds that Ringing Hill is “always seeking” volunteers to respond to fires, motor vehicle accidents, off-road calls, and other emergencies. “No experience or training is necessary to join, so if you think you might like it, give it a shot and we will train you,” he says.