The most common cause of house fires is from cooking. Here are some safety tips:
• Don’t leave the stovetop unattended.
• Set a timer as a reminder that something is cooking if you need to leave the kitchen for a short period of time. This is best for baking rather than when using the stovetop.
• Don’t clutter the stovetop area. Make sure dish towels and paper products are kept apart from the burners.
• Children should be educated to stay at least four feet away from the stove when something is cooking.
• Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for easy access in the event of a grease fire or other flammable incident.
• Cook with a lid nearby in case of a pan fire where you can smother the flames.
• Be careful when cooking with oil, which heats to a high temperature.
Make sure your home fire alert system is working. Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home and be close to the kitchen, garage and sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace batteries or units as needed.
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan annually. Try to identify two ways out of every room and purchase a rope ladder for second-story bedrooms. If a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call for help.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.