It's time for Fire Prevention Week, and from October 6-12 the Wichita Fire Department is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind local residents to prevent kitchen fires.
During this year's fire safety campaign, fire departments will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires--most of which result from unattended cooking. According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires nationwide. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen - more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
In the past three years, Wichita has experienced an average of 200 cooking related fires a year, resulting in an average dollar loss of more than $1 million each year.
"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Fire Chief Ronald Blackwell. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that the Fire Prevention Week campaign will help us reach residents before they suffer a tragic loss."
Following are safety tips:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
• If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
• If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
• When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
• Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.
• Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
During Fire Prevention Week, the WFD has several activities planned (see attached schedule for details). For more information, please call 268-4441, visit www.wichita.gov
, or find the WFD on FaceBook.
2013 Fire Prevention Week Schedule
Sunday October 6 – Saturday October 12
Monday October 7th School Fire Drills
Unannounced fire drills at 13 Wichita area schools. Drills will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day until approximately 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday October 8th Fire Prevention Zoo Adventure
In cooperation with area fire departments and injury prevention coalitions and agencies, area fifth grade students will have the opportunity to interact with firefighters, practice fire safety measures; view fire equipment while enjoying what the Sedgwick County Zoo has to offer.
Wednesday October 9th Fun “N” Learning at the YMCA and Westar Energy Health Fair
North Branch YMCA. Area grade schools, home schools and special needs children are invited to attend this outdoor event where they have the opportunity to interact with the Wichita Fire Department, SWAT and area injury prevention coalition partners. Youth will be able to experience the department’s (MPEU) Mobil Experience Education Unit and learn about the safety of seat belts and dental care. This event is scheduled to take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the North Branch YMCA.
The Department will also participate in a health fair at Westar Energy service center located in the 1900 block of East Central. This fair is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.
Thursday October 10th Senior Safety Day
A fire prevention caravan dedicated to senior safety will visit Senior Centers providing safety tips. Programs are scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m.
Friday October 11 – No scheduled activities
Saturday October 12 – Kansas Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial
1200 S. Broadway
12:00 – 3:30 p.m.