Escambia County Fire Rescue observed National Fire Prevention Week
on Oct. 4-10, with some fun activities to educate the public about where potential cooking hazards exist, along with basic but critical ways to prevent them.
The National Fire Protection Association has sponsored Fire Prevention Week since 1922, and this year's theme was "“Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen." This campaign works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.
On Oct. 9, ECFR held an event at Kingdom Builders Academy on Palafox where staff received training on fire prevention and escape planning. The staff was trained on how to conduct a fire drill, to have two escape routes and to set a meeting place outside.
The children were educated on fire safety and what to do if the alarm sounds at home and school. The children also learned about safety in the kitchen and to never get around the stove when someone is cooking.
The second event was a surprise visit from Marshall, the fire dog hero from the hit series, Paw Patrol. The children at the Camp Fire early learning center in Century, were very excited about their special visitor.
ECFR and Marshall from Paw Patrol visiting the children at Camp Fire in Century
These special Fire Prevention Week events showed the public the importance of fire safety and fire prevention. 1 out of 10 people will experience a fire in their lifetime and 85% of fire-related injuries occur from trying to put out a fire. ECFR teaches fire extinguisher classes to groups and businesses to help citizens become familiar with the use of an extinguisher.
"Serving Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen" at home, school, and work is essential and knowing what to do when a fire occurs on the stove will save lives and property. Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen. ECFR has recently responded to many kitchen fires, and 62% of fires in Escambia County start in the kitchen. Safety begins with you.
Cooking Safety Tips
Escambia County Fire Rescue wants to remind residents of some cooking safety tips for the coming holiday season. Next month is Thanksgiving which is the busiest day for fire departments across the country according to NFPA. Knowing what to do now is key to having a safe home.
Follow these tips to help prevent fires and to be better prepared in the event of a fire:
Turkey Frying Safety Tips
- Always have working smoke detectors in your home. For information about obtaining a home smoke detector, call 850-595-HERO (4376). City of Pensacola residents may call 850-436-5200 for smoke detector installation assistance.
- Have an escape plan and know two ways out of every room in your home.
- In the event of a fire, call 911 even if you think the fire is out.
- Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the room, turn the stove off first.
- Do not panic if a pan catches on fire. Place a lid over the pan, turn the heat source off and let the pan cool.
- If a fire occurs in your oven, leave the door closed and turn the oven off to prevent the fire from spreading.
- Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove.
- Never wear loose clothing while cooking.
- Keep the area around the stove clear of anything that can burn, including packaging, paper towels and dish cloths.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so you don’t bump them.
ECFR is planning a turkey fire demonstration to show what happens when you put a frozen turkey in an oil fryer and how, if it is too close to other combustible materials, the fire will spread quickly. If the media is interested in this demonstration, please contact email@example.com to setup a day and time.
- Use a fryer with thermostat controls. This will ensure the oil does not become overheated.
- Thaw your turkey completely. Ice on the bird will cause the oil to splatter.
- Don’t overfill the pot with oil. If you do, the oil will overflow when you add the turkey causing a fire hazard.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fryer.
- Always use the fryer outdoors.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
- Unattended cooking is the leading factor in home cooking fires.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started when food or other cooking materials caught fire.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than one percent of these fires, but these incidents accounted for eight percent of the cooking fire deaths.
- Ranges or cooktops were involved in the 61% of reported home cooking fires, 87% of cooking fire deaths and 78% of cooking fire injuries.
- More than half (55%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
- Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
For more fire safety information and resources from the U.S. Fire Administration, click here.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and get tips on how to prevent and prepare for home fires, visit firepreventionweek.org.