Fire Prevention Week is under way, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is taking this opportunity to remind County residents that there are simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and this year’s campaign focuses on cooking safety and preventing kitchen fires at home. According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half — 44 percent — of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
    Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

For more information about fire safety, visit www.nfpa.org.

Submitted by Mercer County

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