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[R67] Fire prevention awareness
Start Date: 10/11/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/11/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

The week of October 6-12th marked fire prevention week in the United States – a commemoration which dates all the way back to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Having spent a great deal of my life extinguishing fires, I thought it might be useful to highlight this year’s message because I know that the easiest way to get rid of a fire is to prevent it before it even starts.  

This year’s message from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) dealt with preventing kitchen fires. This is very important because studies have shown that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other room of the home. As you can imagine, this is primarily due to cooking related incidents. 

The NFPA cites that most of these fires start with ignition of food or other cooking materials. The most effective way to monitor this is simply to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food. If you must leave the room, you should always turn the stove off, even if it is only for a very short time. 

When young children are present, you should always use the backburners whenever possible. This greatly lessens the chances of them getting burnt in the event that they reach up over the stove or knock something over. Wearing tight-fitting sleeves when cooking can also prevent your clothes from igniting in case of a fire.  

It is also important to keep the kitchen tidy. Any food or grease that is left on burners or stovetops should be cleaned up to avoid possible hazards in the future. Prep tools such as potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils and towels should also be kept away from the stovetop because they are easily flammable.     

Anytime you are cooking, an oven mitt and lid should be nearby however. A small grease fire can be quickly smothered by gently sliding a lid over the pan. You’ll need to turn off the burner but the pan should remain in place. To keep the fire from reigniting, keep the lid on until the pan is completely cooled down. Similarly, if your oven or microwave catches on fire, you should immediately turn off the heat and keep the door closed so that the flames cannot reach you or your clothing. 

Some fires are manageable but others require professional help. If you have any doubt whatsoever, the best thing you can do is get yourself and everyone else outside as quickly as possible. Once outside, close the door behind to you in order to help contain the fire. Only then should you call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number – after you are safely outside. 

When we think about fires, we often think of monetary losses or losses of structure however, in the United States, seven people die in home fires each day. The information I have shared is probably not new to you but it is worth the reminder. It is never too early to learn fire safety either, so the next time your child is helping out with dinner, I encourage you to talk to them about kitchen safety as well. You never know when making a simple meal can turn into a life and death situation.  

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Courtney Scott
Phone: 317-234-9006
Email: Courtney.Scott@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • After Hours
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Public Safety
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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