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 https://guardianssi.com.