© Christopher Gooding photo
Thanks to fire fighters visiting schools during Fire Prevention Week, more children are growing up to become responsible and informed adults and a positive trend of fewer house fires is taking place, Cumberland County’s Fire Services Coordinator Mike Carter says.
UPPER NAPPAN – Fore prevention in the home has been an ongoing campaign and every year marks more success in safety.
Campaigns to remind families to check their smoke detectors, have exit strategies and safe heating have netted results.
Here in Cumberland County, Fire Services Coordinator Mike Carter says the municipality’s 14 departments; four town departments and excess of 300 volunteer members are hoping to see that continued success with this year’s Fire Prevention Week, beginning Monday, Oct. 6. It’s focus, safety in the kitchen.
“I think the biggest problem is people start to cook and then watch television or read a book and fall asleep,” Carter said. “There’s been a decline in grease fire, because most fryers you buy now are very safe, but they shouldn’t be left unattended.”
Fires started in the kitchen, Carter said, are one of the more common causes of house fire but suspects after this year’s campaign they too will decrease. Every year fire departments rally to carry their message, a segment of the population becomes informed and adopts the safe practices.
“The departments are going out to the schools and in some cases now some kids are more informed than the firefighters,” Carter said. “As adults, they become more responsible. It’s a trend and it’s a good trend.”
For the adults, Carter is adding a reminder to this year’s campaign especially for the adults: if you heat your house with wood, make sure your ashes are extinguished before throwing them out.
“Put them in a proper container – like a metal bucket – before moving them,” Carter said. “We’ve had occurrences where people put their ashes in their green bins before they were ready.”
Often, green bins are situated beside out buildings or the home, making it a recipe for trouble if the ashes are not completely extinguished.
If you have a fire in the kitchen
• Get out. Just leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number after you leave.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
• Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.