ATLANTA — Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association to remind Georgians that Fire Prevention Week runs through Oct 12.
The theme this year is, “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”
Hudgens and fire personnel around the state will be spreading the word about ways to keep homes safe and prevent kitchen fires. Additionally, fire safety educators will be teaching local residents how to plan and practice escape from a home in case a fire occurs.
Each year roughly 100 people die as a result of home fires and burns in Georgia, and more than 200,000 individuals are seen in the nation’s emergency rooms for burn injuries. Thirteen Georgians have died as a result of unattended cooking fires this year. In 2012, 14 Georgians perished from cooking fires.
According to the latest National Fire Prevention Association research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. 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.
Hudgens emphasizes the following 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 yourself.
• 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.
For more information on planned activities, contact your local fire department or call Hudgens’ Public Safety Education Division at (404) 657-0831.