Fire department offers tips to prevent kitchen fires


Oct. 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week, and the Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services Department, in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association, is offering tips on preventing kitchen fire.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen — more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

“Often when we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes,” Pine Bluff Fire Chief Shauwn Howell said “Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they’ve suffered a damaging lesson.”

Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.

• If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home and use a timer to remind you.

• If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three away from the stove.

• When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

• Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.

• Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.