RICHARDSON – Kitchen fires continue to be the number one cause of house fires and home fire injuries, which is one of the reasons why fire departments across the country are spending National Fire Prevention Week talking to people about the actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10.  For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home and when cooking takes place around lots of activity it can increase the potential for injury or accidental fire.

“Even though its Fire Prevention Week, we want people to observe fire safety year-round,” said Wesley Caskey, Richardson Fire Marshal.

To minimize fire and injury:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to 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 have to 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.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.