COQUITLAM, BC, Oct. 6, 2020 – Does everyone in your household know how to cook safely and what to do if you have a kitchen fire?
During Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 4 to 10), Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is reminding everyone that it’s important to learn about cooking safety, as cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home-fire injuries.
“Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” is the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, an annual public fire -afety campaign conducted by fire departments across North America.
Coquitlam Fire/Rescue takes part each year as part of its community education efforts.
In a fire, seconds can make a difference. Coquitlam residents are encouraged to complete a cooking safety checklist and get everyone in the household involved:
- Does a grown-up always pay attention to things that are cooking?
- Do you have a kitchen fire extinguisher?
- Does a grown-up watch the stove top when he or she is cooking?
- If a grown-up must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, does he or she turn off burners?
- Are things that can burn, such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, away from the stove top?
- Are pot handles turned toward the back of the stove when a grown-up is cooking?
- Do children and pets stay out of the kid-free zone - 1 meter from the stove - when a grown-up is cooking?
- Are containers opened slowly when removing from the microwave? Hot steam can escape and cause burns.
- Does your family have working smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside all sleeping areas, and in each bedroom?
- Does your family have a home fire escape plan and practice the plan?
Fire Safety is important for everyone regardless of their age or the time of year. Details on Fire Prevention Week, can be found on the National Fire Protection Association website.
Don’t Forget About Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are also an important part of a home escape plan, because they provide early warning when smoke starts to fill the home.
B.C. law requires all homes to have smoke alarms. Landlords are also required to ensure their rental properties have working alarms.
Smoke alarms are proven to save lives, but only if they are functioning. Make sure your household is protected by:
- Having a working smoke alarm on each floor;
- Replacing batteries each spring and fall when the clocks change (unless batteries are the 10-year type);
- Testing smoke alarms monthly and keeping them free of dust (tip: vacuum occasionally); and
- Replacing smoke alarms at least once every 10 years.
For more information about smoke alarms or fire prevention, contact the Fire Prevention Division at 604-927-6433 or visit www.coquitlam.ca/firesafety.