National Fire Prevention Week started Sunday and runs through Saturday in the U.S., and local firefighters would like to remind you and your loved ones to practice good fire safety at home.
This year, local and national firefighters remind everyone to be fire-safe in the kitchen.
Home cooking fires are the leading cause of fires nationally.
From 2012-2016, home fires started by cooking activities caused more than 172,000 fires, 530 deaths, and 5,270 injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Just last week, firefighters with Walla Walla County Fire District 4 responded to a kitchen fire.
“The fire originated on the stove top and spread to the wall cabinet when the sprinkler head activated,” said District 4 Fire Chief Rocky Eastman.
Thankfully, the fire was extinguished by the home sprinkler system.
“I am confident that if no fire sprinkler system had been present the entire apartment would have significant fire damage,” said Eastman.
And fortunately no one was injured and the damage was minor.
To reduce the risk of cooking fires, people should always:
- Stay in the kitchen while cooking
- Keep a close eye on any food that is frying in oil
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the burners, such as oven mitts, curtains, wooden utensils, loose clothing, or food packaging.
“Cooking continues to be a major contributor to the home fire problem,” said National Fire Protection Association vice president of outreach and advocacy Lorraine Carli, in a release. “The good news is that the vast majority of these fires are highly preventable.”
Alissa Cordner is a Walla Walla County Fire District 4 volunteer wildland firefighter and public information volunteer.