Week focuses on prevention of kitchen fires

John Richmeier
Chris Hendrickson and Russ Baker of the Leavenworth Fire Department perform landscaping work Monday at Leavenworth's Fire Station No. 1. Members of the Fire Department typically visit schools and day care centers during Fire Prevention Week. But firefighters are not making school visits this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leavenworth’s fire marshal said there are a limited number of heat sources in homes that can start a fire. And the kitchen stove is one that leads to many fires.

“Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” is this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, which is this week.

Leavenworth Fire Marshal Andy Brooks said cooking is the leading cause of house fires in the United States as well as the leading cause of fire injuries to civilians.

It also is the second leading cause of fire deaths. The leading cause of fire deaths in the United States is careless smoking.

Brooks said it is important for people to be aware of how dangerous cooking can be. He said having clutter around a cooking area or leaving food cooking unattended can result in fires.

“They take cooking too lightly as far as the risk involved,” Brooks said.

He said Leavenworth firefighters frequently are called to houses for cooking fires that have been confined to pans or other containers but have produced smoke throughout the homes.

While these fires may be confined to containers, they are a few steps away from getting out of hand, Brooks said.

He recommends keeping a lid handy when cooking on the stove. He said the lid can be placed over a fire in a pan to smother the flames and extinguish the fire.

He also suggests having a fire extinguisher.

Even if a person is able to put out a cooking fire, Brooks recommends calling the fire department to make sure everything is safe.

Fire Prevention Week typically is a busy time for members of the Leavenworth Fire Department.

Firefighters typically visit with children from schools and day care centers during the week and the rest of the month of October. But firefighters are not making school visits this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR