By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 95 years, has announced “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen™” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week™, October 4-10, 2020.
This year’s focus on cooking fire safety is supported by findings from NFPA’s newly released U.S. Home Cooking Fires report, which shows that cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries; nearly half (49 percent) of all U.S. home fires are caused by cooking activities.
Cooking continues to be a major contributor to the home fire problem. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign works to better educate the public about where potential cooking hazards exist, along with basic but critical ways to prevent them.”
According to the report, approximately 173,000 cooking fires occur in homes each year, resulting in 550 civilian deaths, 4,820 reported civilian fire injuries, and more than $1 billion in direct property damage.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home cooking fires and associated fatalities. A survey conducted this year by the American Red Cross underscores the prevalence of this behavior, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying they’ve left the kitchen while cooking on the stove; 55 percent of U.S. adults say they have walked away from their grill while cooking.
Now You’re Cooking!