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Cooking is leading cause for house fires in U.S.

Posted at 3:31 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-04 01:15:37-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Fire Prevention Week is officially underway -- the Rincon Valley Fire District kicks off this year’s campaign by bringing your focus to the kitchen.

That’s because cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

This might surprise you, but experts say, there’s a reason for that.

Rincon Valley Fire District Fire Captain Scott Laird has been a firefighter for 32 years.

He said “Saturdays between 8 and noon is the biggest time for house fires because people are home on the weekends, they’re doing stuff, working on the garage and something can go wrong. Fire is pretty dangerous."

Fiona De Young, spokesperson with the Rincon Valley Fire District, said you need to pay extra attention in the kitchen to prevent cooking fires.

“One thing that you can do is move the pot handles away from the stove. Make sure that the pan is covered so that you don’t have grease flying out.Make sure that you keep oven mitts, dish towels, anything like that away from an open flame. Make sure never to keep any cooking unattended, and if you do smell an odor or something that seems like it’s burning make sure to either cover the pot, close the oven door, unplug the appliances and step out of the home and dial 9-1-1,” De Young added.

She also says it’s a good idea to keep three feet around the stove as a fire safety zone, especially if you have kids.

Here’s what Laird says you can do to keep your house safe from brush fires --

“Always keep the garden hose hooked up, on in the front, one in the back. Keep your house area clean. What we say is a 30 foot area to protect your home so in case a brush fire does come, there’s a safe area for us to work,” he said.

He also says it’s important to have fire extinguishers handy, keep information updated on your file of life, and check smoke detectors once a month. Should your smoke detector not go off during a house fire --

“Stop what you’re doing. Get out of the house as quick as possible, and once you’re out of the house, stay out of the house. The more that you can do, the better off your house has of surviving a wild-land fire,” Laird said.