Fire Prevention Week

The Penticton Fire Department encourages all residents to expand their home escape plans for Fire Prevention Week, set for Oct. 6 to 12.

The theme for the 2013 Fire Prevention Week is “Prevent kitchen fires,” to spread the word that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home.

“Cooking brings family and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing, but it can also be dangerous. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries,” said Fire Chief Wayne Williams.

“Being alert and staying present in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop or in the oven is a big first step in fire prevention in the kitchen. Simple things like keeping stovetops, ovens and burners clean can be the step that saves lives and homes.”

Fire Prevention Week is recognized every October. Despite the fact that fewer fire losses are reported in Canada, on average, eight Canadians die from fire every week. Most of these fires are preventable and caused by careless behaviour, which is why fire departments across the nation spend the week promoting public awareness of fire safety and prevention.

The Penticton Fire Department and students from Penticton High School Drama Department have scheduled the Fire Safety Education Roadshow to present “The Case of Fire Safety,” a series of elementary school performances during Fire Prevention Week. School children who work on their home escape plan will be entered to win Fire Chief for a Day and a pizza party for their classroom.

Cooking safety

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like potholders, oven mitts, paper or plastic bags, curtains — away from your stovetop.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • If you have a stove fire, when in doubt, just get out and call the fire department.
  • Keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you're cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing. After a fire, the oven should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.
  • Open microwaved food slowly, away from the face. Hot steam from a container of microwaved food or the food itself can cause burns.
  • Never heat a baby bottle in a microwave oven because it heats liquids unevenly. Heat baby bottles in warm water.
  • Treat a burn right away, putting it in cool water. Cool the burn for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. If the burn is bigger than your fist, or if you have any questions, get medical help right away.
  • Think green by unplugging small appliances when not in use.