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Preventing fires can start in kitchen

Earlier this month, fire departments, cities, villages and schools across the country celebrated Fire Prevention Week. This year’s Fire Prevention Week slogan is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.” This slogan was chosen because cooking fires continue to be the leading cause of home fire across The United States. An appropriate slogan due to the fact that many people continue to avoid restaurants and opt to do more cooking and entertaining at home.

Cooking fires not only continue to be the leading cause of home fires but it’s also the leading cause of home fire injuries and second leading cause of fire related deaths in the home. The leading cause of home cooking fires is unattended cooking. The National Fire Protection Association’s key message for this years campaign are:

¯ Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking: never leave cooking unattended.

¯ Keep anything that can catch fire- oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stove or stovetop.

¯ Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

The Dunkirk Fire Department encourages you to practice fire safety every day. Make it a habit to check your smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries every six months.

All members of the household are urged to create an escape plan from their residence in case of fire. The escape plan should consist of two designated escape routes from every room in the residence and a safe meeting place to assemble outside of the residence. Lastly, it is strongly recommended that all family members practice their escape plan by having a fire drill.

Due to COVID-19,The Dunkirk Fire Department-Fire Prevention committee did not make their annual Fire Prevention Week visits to the schools this year.

However, the committee has been working with the Dunkirk School District in an effort to continue to teach fire safety to the children.

A YouTube video relaying key fire safety messages was made for teachers to watch with the students in class. The video also features a special visit by Sparky the Fire Dog.

We encourage families with children to watch the video at home, the video can be linked by visiting The City of Dunkirk Fire Department on Facebook. Parents are also encouraged to visit the NFPA website, www.nfpa.org for additional information, interactive games and apps, lesson plans, videos and tip sheets regarding fire safety and escape plans. The NFPA is a valuable resource for all members of the public providing information on a broad range of fire safety.

The Dunkirk Fire Department is always available to answer any of your fire safety questions, please call 366-2577.

Gary S. Katta is captain of the Dunkirk Fire Department.

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