The Rochester Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 100 years — are pleased to announce “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, 2023.
This year’s focus on cooking safety works to educate the public about simple but important steps they can take to help reduce the risk of fire when cooking at home, keeping themselves and those around them safe.
According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with nearly half (49 percent) of all home fires involving cooking equipment; cooking is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and related deaths. In addition, NFPA data shows that cooking is the only major cause of fire that resulted in more fires and fire deaths in 2014-2018 than in 1980-1984.
“These numbers tell us that more public awareness is needed around when and where cooking hazards exist, along with ways to prevent them,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of the Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will work to promote tips, guidelines, and recommendations that can help significantly reduce the risk of having a cooking fire.”
Following are cooking safety messages that support this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention”:
- Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking. For foods with longer cooking times, such as those that are simmering or baking, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.
- Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Create a “kid and pet-free zone” of at least three feet (one meter) around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
“Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions that remove your focus from what’s on the stove are among the key messages for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign,” said Carli.
Fire Prevention Week is celebrated throughout North America every October, and is the oldest public health observance on record in the U.S. Entering its 101st year, Fire Prevention Week works to educate people about the leading risks of home fires and ways they can better protect themselves and their loved ones. Local fire departments, schools, and community organizations play a key role in bringing Fire Prevention Week to life in their communities each year and spreading basic but critical fire safety messages.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention,” visit www.fpw.org. Additional Fire Prevention Week resources for children, caregivers, and educators can be found at www.sparky.org and www.sparkyschoolhouse.org.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.