PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is drawing attention to the leading cause of home fires and is urging people to become familiar with the safety guidelines suggested by the Illinois State Fire Marshal during National Fire Prevention Week.
“Cooking continues to be a main contributor to home fires,” Joyce said. “During this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, take a moment to consider where potential cooking hazards exist, along with basic but critical ways to prevent them.”
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S. Almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen, and in 2019, Illinois fire departments responded to nearly 6,500 fires that were either caused by cooking or originated in the kitchen, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System.
Keep these fire safety tips in mind when cooking:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen, and if you must leave the room, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain at home and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- Don’t cook if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
- Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when cooking. Should a small grease fire start, don’t pour water on it—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.
To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit the NFPA website.