Fire officials urge residents to prevent kitchen fires

DOWNEY - The Downey Fire Department is reminding the community that National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12 and this year's campaign is titled "Prevent Kitchen Fires."*On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day. *Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths. *Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen. *Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%. *Children under 5 face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire. *Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fire. Nearly half (44%) of microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns. *Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (80%) home heating deaths. *Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding. *Sleep was a factor in 1/3 of home smoking fire deaths and alcohol impairment was a factor in 20% of home smoking fire deaths. *According to an NFPA survey, only 1/3 of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. *Almost 2/3 (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. *Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.

********** Published: Oct. 10, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 26