What do you think is the number one cause of house fires in Ontario?
A: Inadequate electrical wiring
E: Appliances (i.e. toasters, barbecues, etc.)
You might be surprised to learn that cooking is the leading cause of residential fires in the province. In fact, leaving your stove unattended for only a few minutes can result in a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, house fire.
On Oct. 6, Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service kicked off Fire Prevention Week, which runs until Oct. 12. This annual public safety campaign aims to educate residents about the importance of fire safety and provide the community with fire prevention strategies. This year’s theme is “prevent kitchen fires.”
Here are four very important Dos and Don’ts for preventing and controlling kitchen fires:
- DO have a family fire escape route. Plan your escape, but practice it too. On average, how many households do you think have actually created and practiced their home fire-escape plan? Click here to find out.
- DO wear tight-fitting clothes or rolled up sleeves when using the stove. Loose, dangling clothing can easily catch fire. If your clothing does catch fire remember to stop, drop and roll!
- DON’T panic! It’s important to get out of the house, close the door behind you and call 9-1-1 immediately. If you’re attempting to put out a fire, calmly ask that others get out of the way and keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires.
- DON’T attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Instincts often tell us to extinguish fire with water. Watch these firefighters below as they demonstrate the surprising result of dousing a grease fire with a small cup of water.
How good is your fire prevention knowledge? Test it now by taking the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week Quiz.
Remember, when you’re in the kitchen be sure to watch what you heat and always stand by your pan!
Chief Larry Bentley
Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service
Follow Chief Larry Bentley on Twitter @larry_bentley
Follow the Vaughan Professional Fire Fighters Association on Twitter @VPFFA
Additional resource: Office of the Fire Marshal