Let’s “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” during Fire Prevention Week

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

With stay-at-home orders surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, a positive outcome was seeing families spend more time together in the kitchen. From baking tasty treats to cooking family dinners, many families enjoyed valuable time together preparing a meal.

Unfortunately, cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Therefore, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is recognizing October 4-10, 2020 as National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s campaign is focusing on cooking safety and preventing kitchen fires at home.  Here are 4 important tips to keep in mind when cooking to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.”

1. Stay focused on the food – Whether frying, boiling, or grilling food, always stay in the kitchen and give that job your full attention. If you must leave the kitchen, even for short time, turn the burner off.

2. Put a lid on it – Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, place the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is cool. This simple step can prevent a grease fire from getting out of control.

3. Keep cooking area clear – Clean up the clutter. Giving cooking appliance space can lessen the chance of a fire occurring. Items like oven mitts, utensils, food wrappers, and towels, should be kept away from the stovetop.

4. Prevent scalds & burns – Both hot liquids and steam from the stove can cause devastating injuries. Taking precautions like turning the pot handles away from the stove’s edge and keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.

Fire safety remains one of the top lessons taught at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days throughout North America. In 2019 alone, more than 48,000 participants were reached through age-appropriate, hands-on education around fire safety. Depending on the participant’s age, Safety Days teach children a variety of important safety tips including:

  • Creating a fire escape plan and the importance of adopting the plan as a family.
  •  Practicing the stop, drop and roll technique to extinguish flames on their body.
  • Understanding the need for smoke alarms and where they should be placed in and around the home.
  • Learning where to properly store and how to use a fire extinguisher.  

For more fire prevention tips, messages, and resources for both children and parents, visit firepreventionweek.org.  

For more information or to locate a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in your local community, visit www.progressiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529. Looking to make a safe investment and help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day? Donate TODAY by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo: During this Progressive Agriculture Safety Day held in Iowa, participants understand the proper technique of using a fire extinguisher by using a digital simulator.