Kitchen fire safety highlighted during National Fire Safety Month

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 6, 2020

 Although this year’s Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Open House was canceled to avoid the spread of COVID-19, officers are still getting the word out about National Fire Prevention Week.

Although this year’s Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Open House was canceled to avoid the spread of COVID-19, officers are still getting the word out about National Fire Prevention Week.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — This year’s Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Open House — originally scheduled for Oct. 4 — was canceled to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Grosse Pointe Woods generally has an open house every October in which community members are invited to the department for fire safety sessions, equipment demonstrations, a smoke house exercise and more. The open house always coincides with National Fire Prevention Week.

“We had to cancel because of COVID-19. I just don’t want to chance it. We want to follow the CDC guidelines,” Public Safety Director John Kosanke said. “But we still wanted to get the information out to the residents and community about fire safety. We still wanted to remind families to think about fire safety and talk with their children about fire safety.”

On Sept. 29, an email blast was administered to residents that provided several fire safety tips. The department has teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association to promote its 2020 theme: “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S., and almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

NFPA has offered the following cooking safety tips:

Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave the room, even for a short time, turn off the stove. When 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.

Be alert when cooking. Don’t be sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy. Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit www.fpw.org.