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This year's Fire Prevention Week urges Hamiltonians to "serve up fire safely in the kitchen"

Fire Prevention Week – October 4-10, 2020
Serve up fire safety in the kitchen!™

The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week (October 4-10) is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!™ and Fire Chief David Cunliffe is urging everyone in Hamilton to take some simple steps to prevent kitchen fires in their home.

The theme is very timely as cooking fires continue to be a leading cause of home fires in Hamilton. It focuses on the prevention of cooking fires and staying fire safe in the kitchen.

“In Hamilton, unattended cooking is a leading cause of residential structure fires. Cooking happens in homes every day, and it must be done responsibly to ensure it is done safely. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and your family from fire. Always remain alert and stay in the kitchen while cooking,” says Hamilton Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe.

"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us they only left the kitchen for a few minutes. But that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. Help keep our community safe by preventing fires from starting in the first place.”

Simple steps to serve up fire safety in the kitchen include:
• Always stay in the kitchen when cooking and turn off the stove if you must leave the kitchen.
• Keep a proper fitting lid near the stove. If a pot of oil catches fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove. Do not move the pot. Never throw water on a burning pot.
• Keep anything that burns – plastic utensils, dishcloths, paper towels – a safe distance from the stove.
• Cook responsibly. To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You will not be alert if you have consumed alcohol or drugs.
• Wear tight-fitting or rolled up sleeves when using the stove. Loose, dangling clothing can easily catch fire.
• Keep young kids one metre (three feet) away from the stove. Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge so they can’t be easily knocked off.
• If you burn yourself while cooking, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes. If the burn is severe, seek medical attention.

The Hamilton Fire Department (HFD) will be holding several activities throughout Fire Prevention Week to generate awareness about the importance of fire safety. The following are some of the planned activities:

Safe Cooking Social Media Contest:
• Follow the HFD on Twitter at @HamiltonFireDep
• Re-tweet one or more of our ‘Cooking Safety Messages’ for a chance to win a prize.
• Prizes include a Samsung Galaxy tablet, gift cards and HFD merchandise.
• Contest winners will be notified via direct message on HFD Twitter.
• Visit Hamilton.ca/fire for contest rules and full prize details.

Chief of the Day Contest:
• Children are invited to become the fire chief for the day by completing a Home Fire Safety Inspection with a caregiver and emailing it to the HFD at fire.prevention@hamilton.ca for a chance to win a prize.
• Prizes include a virtual fire station tour, plastic 'Fire Chief' hat, and HFD merchandise.
• Visit Hamilton.ca/fire for contest rules and full prize details.

Quick Facts
• In 2019, there were 178 residential structure fires in Hamilton.
• Of the 178 residential structure fires, 29 occurred in the kitchen area of the home.
• Of the 29 kitchen area fires, 24 began as a result of unattended cooking.

Additional Resource
Hamilton.ca/fire