SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) — This week is National Fire Prevention Week and the focus for this year is fire safety in the kitchen.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S.
“Lots of times cooking is left unattended and that’s when the fires happen. So, if you’re boiling, frying, or cooking food heavily, you want to make sure you’re in the kitchen attending to it. If you’re simmering or that, do not leave the house, stay inside, and check on it frequently,” said Captain Jay Mathis, South Sioux City Fire Department.
The NFPA adds almost half , 44%, of reported home fires started in the kitchen, and two-thirds, 66%, of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
“If the grease gets too hot, that could cause it or something close by, [like] papers towels right next to the stove. Objects hanging down, [such as] towels [and] loose clothing,” said Captain Mathis.
Some ways people can be safe when cooking in the kitchen is making sure that the kitchen is clear and keeping things away from the stove.
Captain Mathis said it’s important for parents to protect their children when cooking in the kitchen.
“Teach the kids to stay 3 feet from the stove. That way they’re not pulling things down on them or putting stuff on the burners and basically hurting themselves,” said Captain Jay Mathis, South Sioux City Fire Department.
He mentions parents should start teaching their children safety rules in the kitchen at an early age of three to four, depending on the child.
Captain Mathis said there should be a fire extinguisher kept in the kitchen, a smoke alarm set up in close proximity, and when cooking, have a frying pan lid ready to cover a fire, if a fire does erupt.
The South Sioux City Fire Department is doing a Facebook Live each day during National Fire Prevention Week to teach the community about fire safety.