White Rock Fire Rescue truck. (File photo)

Kitchen fire safety the focus of Fire Prevention Week in White Rock

Firefighter says many homes have been destroyed due to preventable fires

White Rock Fire Rescue is serving up fire safety tips as kitchen fires continue to be one of the leading causes of residential structure fires.

In a news release issued Friday, White Rock firefighters say kitchen fire safety is the focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 4-10 this year.

White Rock firefighters are partnering with the National Fire Protection Association for the campaign.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” fire Chief Ed Wolfe said in the news release. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

The department shared a number of safety tips, including that cooking food should never be left unattended; to check on food regularly and use a timer if simmering, baking, roasting or boiling; have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food is being prepared; and always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby.

“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,” the release notes.

The department also advises to not cook after taking drugs, alcohol or medication that makes a person feel drowsy.

“A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented,” Capt. James Davison said in the release.

The BC Fire Training Officers Association, BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of BC, First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, FortisBC and Office of the Fire Commissioner are hosting a fire and burn prevention contest, with an opportunity to win prizes for students in the community.

Details on the contest, including deadlines, rules and prizes, can be found on the Office of the Fire Commissioners’ website at www.gov.bc.ca/FireSafety/FirePreventionWeek

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

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