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Fire Prevention Week serves up kitchen safety

The Hanscom Fire Department is recognizing Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4 though 10. The 2020 theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

The Hanscom Fire Department is recognizing Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4 though 10. The 2020 theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Hanscom Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to recognize Fire Prevention Week here Oct. 4 through 10.

The 2020 campaign is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” and is geared to educate the community on simple steps to take to educate people of important actions to keep themselves and their families safe.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half, 44 percent, of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Two-thirds of home fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

The Hanscom Fire Emergency Service encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme to mitigate risks in their own kitchen.

“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to ’Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!’” said Fire Lt. Eric Vail-Naylor, 66th Civil Engineering Division Fire Prevention inspector. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”

Hanscom fire officials shared the following tips to prevent cooking fires:

• 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.

• Check food regularly as you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling it. Remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

• Be alert when cooking. Don’t cook if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.

• Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when 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.

• Establish a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

For more information on Fire Prevention Week, contact the Hanscom Fire Department at 781-225-5600/5601/2801/5467.

For general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.