In the aftermath of the devastating home fire in Brooklyn on March 21st that left seven children dead and their mother and sister in critical condition, it’s important to remember how preventable so many of these kinds of tragedies can be. The American Red Cross has determined that every day, approximately seven people die, and 36 are injured in household fires across the nation. Of those statistics, two out of every five home fires began in the kitchen. (Photo Credit: AP / Mary Altaffer)
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has tried to bring the issue of home fire safety to the forefront with educational materials and classes, but “people have a general complacency about fire,” says Lorraine Carli, a spokesperson for the NFPA. No one seems to think it will happen to them. In 2013 alone, 85 percent of all fire deaths in the United States occurred in the home, however, and cooking is the number one cause. The Brooklyn fire is believed to have begun due to a malfunctioning hot plate that was left on overnight in the kitchen. However, firefighters at the scene also noted that there were no working smoke detectors on the home’s first or second floors.
Here are some tips to help prevent kitchen and home fires to share with your household:
• Never leave cooking unattended. In more than 30 percent of kitchen fires, unattended cooking was a factor. If you leave the kitchen, be sure to turn burners off.
• Keep towels, oven mitts, food packaging and anything else that could catch fire away from the stove top, and do not cook in loose-fitting clothing that could get too close to burners or oven heat.
• Check on the food you’re cooking regularly to ensure pan oil isn’t too hot, and use a timer to help monitor food’s progress. Also be sure to keep cooking areas clean and clear of buildup and crumbs that could overheat and catch fire.
• Always maintain working smoke detectors in every level of your home, and ensure that batteries are replaced when needed.
For more information about how you can keep your home and family safe from kitchen and household fires, connect with us today at http://guardianssi.com.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a toddler was injured in a cooking fire. According to the report by Meg Jones, “A one-year-old boy was burned in a house fire Monday evening. When firefighters arrived at the two-family home around 7:30 p.m., the child and his mother were already outside the home in the 1700 block of W. Capitol Drive, said Battalion 2 Chief Kenton Kais. The boy suffered first- and second-degree burns on his arms and right leg and was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where he was expected to recover.The blaze was caused by a cooking fire. Fire crews were on the scene for 1 1/2 hours.” Create a three-foot “child-free zone” around the stove. Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking to prevent burns and scalds
Lt. Tom Kiurski, a 30-year veteran of the fire service, serves the Brighton Area Fire Department in Michigan as an academy instructor. He writes about the “Tale of Two Fires” where two families in Warren, Ohio, had cooking fires where 10 adults and children perished in one year. His article in the Livingston County Daily Press and Argus tells a compelling story about how cooking fires can be prevented.
His article begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. While those are lines from Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” it also has a lot to do with the tale I will tell you of two families in Ohio.” Read more by clicking here.
It’s an old but sad story – cooking a Christmas meal led to the total destruction of a family home in Bells, part of Crockett County, Tenn. Raymond Woodward said he was cooking a Christmas meal for his family when the kitchen went up in flames.
He suffered second degree burns on his arm and hands, but managed to save his elderly mom and sister. House fires increase over the holidays when we need to be extra careful. You can read more about this tragedy here. It’s likely the Guardian system would have saved the home.
More Cooking Fires Reported on Thanksgiving than Any Other Day
Guardian Safety Solutions International warns families that Thanksgiving can be hazardous to their health. About 45 house fires are reported every hour in the U.S., and 60 percent of apartment fires are started by cooking equipment. Sadly, children and the elderly make up the greatest national percentage of injury and death due to household fires.
“Thanksgiving is a special day with relatives, but answering the door to welcome guests can distract even the most careful cook,” said Paul Rouse, GSSI administrative officer. “Alcohol during Thanksgiving celebrations can also add to cooking inattentiveness. Next thing you know, a fire starts consuming the stove, curtains and other flammable material in the kitchen.” The popularity of turkey deep fryers has added another hazard to the celebration. The cooking oil temperature is extremely hot. Rouse said that they should be used as far from the house as possible. “It’s important to note that not one turkey fryer has been certified as safe by Underwriters Laboratories,” Rouse added. You can read more here.
Alma Michigan Kindergarten kids learned all about cooking safety according to the Morning Sun during Fire Prevention Week. According to the Sun, “Volunteer firefighters spread the word that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home and teaching the students how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place. The volunteer firefighters visited four schools and talked to approximately 725 elementary students.”
To read the whole article, click here.
News from FOX44 – Temple, Texas…
A Monday evening cooking fire has left a family of four homeless. Temple Fire & Rescue responded the fire Monday, in the 2400 Block of Valley Forge Avenue. The first Engine Company arrived to find moderate smoke coming from a downstairs apartment of a four unit apartment complex. Firefighters confirmed everyone was out of the apartment as they began an interior attack. Due to the potential for fire spreading to the other three apartment units and as a precaution, the incident commander requested a second alarm assignment sending two additional Engine companies and one Rescue Company on the call.
Fire investigation determined the fire was unintentional and started from unattended cooking. One of the adults cooking became distracted and forgot to turn off the stove prior to leaving the apartment. The kitchen sustained heavy fire damage with the living room, bedrooms and bathroom receiving smoke and heat damage. A dollar loss has not been calculated. The apartment was protected by working smoke alarms. There were no injuries. The American Red Cross is working with the two adults and two children to assist with their immediate needs
Recently there was a very scary situation in San Angelo, TX. A gorgeous cat was the sole victim in an unattended cooking fire. “It had difficulty breathing,” Battalion Chief Fred Barnett said. “We recommended it be taken to the vet.”
The fire was caused when the resident left the home to pick up their children. They thought they had turned off the stove but it had been on. Thankfully all seems well with the cute cat! The lesson is triple check that you turn off the stove before you leave home!