October 3, 2013 — The American Red Cross responds to thousands of fires in peoples’ homes every year and many of those fires occur while someone is cooking. The focus of this year’s National Fire Prevention Week is “Prevent Kitchen Fires” and the Red Cross is offering tips for avoiding fires in the kitchen. In the National Capital Region, Red Cross disaster volunteers respond to one or two home fires daily.
KEEP AN EYE ON WHAT YOU FRY The cook should not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. They should also stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If they must leave the kitchen, for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
Other ways to avoid cooking fires include the following:
THE PAN IS ON FIRE If the pan catches fire, don’t move it. Slide a pan lid or cookie sheet on top of the pan to take the air away and put the fire out. Turn off the heat. Keep the lid on the pan until it cools. Never try to stop a grease or oil fire with water – it will only make the fire bigger.
OVEN, MICROWAVE FIRES If something catches fire in the oven, keep the door closed. Call 9-1-1 so firefighters can make sure the fire didn’t spread to the walls. If a fire occurs in the microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave if you can. Don’t use it until a repairman checks it.
STOP, DROP AND ROLL If a fire occurs and someone’s clothes are on fire, they should stop where they are immediately, drop to the floor, cover their face with their hands and roll over and over to suffocate the flames. Keep doing it until the fire is out.
JUST GET OUT Leave the home and call the fire department from outside. Make sure everyone in the home gets out – fast. Once outside, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building.
MAKE A PLAN The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside the home in case of a fire.
Other safety steps include:
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/dc/washington or follow us on Twitter at @redcrossncr.