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Fire prevention week focus: kitchen safety

Fire Prevention Week 2013, which runs from October 6 to October 12, the message is to stay safe in the kitchen. The province wide initiative encourages families to cook safely to prevent a kitchen fire.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management and the LCBO are launching The Perfect Meal, a new brochure filled with practical tips to help Ontarians stay safe in the kitchen.

Chatham-Kent fire prevention officer Scott Sproule said fire crews are going to schools across CK this week. “Each of the 19 stations throughout the municipality are participating in the schools, where the theme is kitchen safety. Grade 3 students learn about staying away 1 metre from a hot stove, to stop, drop and roll if their clothing ignites and other safety tips”, said Sproule. He added that if time allows, then each school holds a fire drill. Sproule explained the relationship between drinking and fires, saying ”Sometimes people consume alcohol or drugs then get hungry, they put something on the stove and go to the other room and fall asleep. Then the grease lights on fire.”

Key fire prevention tips include:

  • Be a pot-watcher. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially if using oil or high temperatures. If you must leave, turn off the stove.
  • Handy, but not too handy: Keep items such as cooking utensils, dish cloths and pot holders a safe distance from the stove.
  • Roll it up: Loose fitting clothing can come into contact with the burners and catch fire. It’s safer to wear tight sleeves or roll them up when cooking.
  • If you have a fire, it’s important to get out immediately and call 9-1-1.

“For most Ontario families, preparing food at home is part of daily life. Unfortunately, cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires and the second-leading cause of fatal fires in Ontario. Making small changes to stay fire-safe can make a big difference in helping everyone enjoy the perfect meal any time of day”, said Ted Wieclawek, Fire Marshal and chief of Emergency Management.

2012 saw the largest drop ever in the number of fire deaths in Ontario; 70 compared to 86 in 2011.

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