October Is National Fire Prevention Month

ALBANY – In observance of both National Fire Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York is asking New Yorkers to remember and re-learn basic fire safety rules that can help save lives. This year’s theme, “Preventing Kitchen Fires” is an effort to teach people how to avoid the dangers of fire while cooking.

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other place in the home. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association 40 percent of all home fires originate in the kitchen.

“Being careful, safe, and alert when cooking can help avert a potentially deadly situation,” said FASNY President James Burns. “Too often, firefighters are called to a devastating fire that started in the kitchen and could have been avoided by taking simple steps. While every month is fire prevention month to us, we are asking the public to take some time and review their fire safety plans and place added focus on kitchen safety during the month of October.”

According to the NFPA, in 2011, fire departments throughout the country responded to 370,000 home structure fires, causing 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

COOKING-RELATED FIRE STATISTICS

U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-11, resulting in 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct damage.

Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.

Unattended cooking was a factor in 34 percent of reported home cooking fires.

Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.

TIPS FOR FIRE

PREVENTION

The NFPA and FASNY are urging the public to familiarize themselves with these simple tips in order to protect against fire in the home:

Be alert when cooking.

Always stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.

Check food regularly, and NEVER leave your home when food is cooking.

Keep combustibles (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towels) away from your stovetop.

Make sure to have a fire extinguisher in close proximity to stove or other cooking devices.

Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 90,000 volunteer firefighters in New York State. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.

About Fire Prevention Week: Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871. For more information visit www.NFPA.org.