With Fire Prevention Week just around the corner, Haldimand County Fire Department is reminding residents of simple steps that can be taken to prevent kitchen fires. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, which runs from October 4-10, is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!™”

The theme is very timely as cooking fires continue to be the leading cause of home fires in Ontario.

Simple steps to serve up fire safety in the kitchen include:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking and turn off the stove if you must leave the kitchen.
  • Keep a proper fitting lid near the stove. If a pot of oil catches fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove. Do not move the pot. Never throw water on a burning pot.
  • Keep anything that burns – plastic utensils, dishcloths, paper towels – a safe distance from the stove.
  • Cook responsibly. To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You will not be alert if you have consumed alcohol or drugs.
  • Wear tight-fitting or rolled up sleeves when using the stove. Loose, dangling clothing can easily catch fire.
  • Keep young kids one metre away from the stove. Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge so they can’t be easily knocked off.
  • If you burn yourself while cooking, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes. If the burn is severe, seek medical attention.

“As the weather cools and we start spending more time indoors, fire safety top should be top of mind, especially when cooking,” said Fire Chief Jason Gallagher. “Often when we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen, residents tell us they only stepped away for a few minutes, but that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start,” Gallagher noted.

In addition to practicing fire safety in the kitchen, Gallagher urges all residents to test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and ensure there is one working device on each floor of the home, as well as outside of all sleeping areas. Families are also encouraged to develop a home fire escape plan if they don’t have one already.

Residents with questions about fire prevention are encouraged to make use of the resources available on the County website or contact the County’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 905-318-5932.