Welcome to National Fire Prevention Week 2013! This annual safety campaign being held October 6 through 12, is recognized by the National Fire Protection Association and fire departments across the country. This year the topic of focus is kitchen fires.

The kitchen is the most fire-prone area in any home. In fact, over 160,000 cooking fires happen annually in the US alone resulting in 140 deaths in 2010, the latest year data is available. It is for this reason that the National Fire Prevention Week is focused on kitchen fires. In support of their education efforts, we compiled QRFS’ top 15 tips for avoiding kitchen fires.
So without further ado…
#15: Start by performing a risk survey to identify possible hazards. Make sure to document and practice a fire escape route with your family.
#14: Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your kitchen. Create a plan, such as marking your calendars in advance or setting an alert on your mobile phone or computer, to test your smoke alarm batteries once a month, and keep both in good repair.
#13: Practice and teach safe cooking. Don't overheat grease, or turn burners on and leave the room.
#12: Monitor children. Teach younger children not to play with stoves, pans or appliances, and stay in the room when cooking if you have small children. Keep very young children in a safe area like a playpen in another room.
#11: Keep pets out of the kitchen when cooking to prevent falling over them or having them knock pans off the stove.
#10: Check electric appliances for debris, such as a buildup of bread crumbs in a toaster or toaster oven, which can ignite due to the heat generated by the toaster.
#9: Always put lids and caps back on liquid shortening, butter, or other flammable liquids that could be overturned on a burner.
#8: Keep fire extinguishers fully charged, accessible and use proper signage in commercial kitchens or those used by out-of-town family members, renters or volunteers.
#7: Know what type of fire suppression to use for each type of fire (grease, fabric, structure, electrical etc.)
#6: Keep flammable items such as loose clothing, curtains, dishcloths, towels, or boxes away from the stove area when cooking. Lay utensils such as spatulas or spoons on the cabinet when you are not using them.
#5: Keep electrical appliances in good repair, paying special attention to frayed cords or sparking outlets.
#4: When spraying pans with nonstick coatings, remember to always remove the pan from the stove or oven. These products contain flammable ingredients such as oils and propellants that are very flammable or even explosive when exposed to open flames or heating elements.
#3: Keep pan handles turned toward the center of the stove or countertop backs.
#2: Safely check gas appliances for leaks by mixing a solution of liquid soap and water and brushing it onto all connections. If there is a leak, the escaping gas will cause bubbles to form. Alternatively, you can have a professional do it for you. Bonus tip: make sure pilot lights are functioning properly.
AND NOW- the #1 tip for preventing damage and injuries from kitchen fires in your home is...
Consider installing fire sprinklers, the only proactive fire protection system that reacts automatically to heat, not smoke, and doesn't require you to be in the room to suppress the fire.
Contact QRFS to discuss your options.
From all of us at QRFS – have a safe National Fire Prevention Week!
For more information on National Fire Prevention Week visit FPW.org