Fire Prevention Week 2020: Focuses on Kitchen Safety

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This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” a week-long event that tackles the leading cause of home fires!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that nearly half of all home fires involve cooking equipment! This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” a week-long event that tackles the leading cause of home fires!

Learn more about how you can protect yourself, family and home from unexpected kitchen fires!

Nearly half of all home fires involved cooking equipment, with unattended cooking being the most common cause, according to the NFPA. The key messaging for 2020 is to never leave cooking unattended, keeping flammable objects such as towels and food packaging at least three feet away from stovetops, and not using stoves while sleepy or after consuming alcohol in order to stay alert.

Cooking Tips

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, with Thanksgiving being the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.  
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. 
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. 
  • Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. 
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet away from oven/stove top.

Fire Prevention: Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. 
  • Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm
  • and knows how to respond.

Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice

Home fire escape planning should include the following:
  • Drawing a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows.
  • Going to each room and pointing to the two ways out.
  • Making sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out.
  • Teaching children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Establishing a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting.
  • Having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms.
  • Pushing the smoke alarm button to start the drill.
  • Practicing what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast.
  • Practicing using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave.
  • Never going back for people, pets, or things.
  • Going to your outdoor meeting place.
  • Calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in your town, please contact your local Fire Department! For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking fire prevention, visit
Increase your fire preparedness and talk to your independent agent today about your homeowners insurance policy with Preferred Mutual so you can live confidently!

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