The City of Carbondale is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week™ campaign, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention™.” The campaign educates everyone about simple but important actions they can take when cooking to keep themselves and those around them safe.
According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths.
“Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires by far, accounting for half (49 percent) of all U.S. home fires”, said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. “These numbers tell us that there is still much work to do when it comes to better educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.”
The City of Carbondale wants to share these key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire:
- Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Have a “kid-free and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
To actively support this campaign, the City of Carbondale Fire Department will end National Fire Prevention Week with an Open House at Fire Station #2, located at 401 N. Glenview Drive, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14. Sparky the Fire Dog will be present along with a fire extinguisher demonstration and vehicle extrication demonstration. Please stop by for a tour of the fire station and give us an opportunity to become better acquainted and to inform you of our services. The City of Carbondale Fire Department conducted fire drills at Parrish, Thomas, Lewis, Carbondale Middle School, Trinity Christian, and CCHS schools. The fire department and the CCHS Lifesavers will visit the schools for presentations.
In addition, the City of Carbondale Fire Department has again joined forces with the International Association of Fire Chiefs for the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign to save lives and prevent needless injuries. The program urges everyone to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: change smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks back to standard time, this year on Sunday, November 5. Testing all smoke alarms at least once a month is also important. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
A 2017 Illinois law requires ten-year sealed smoke alarms be installed in all homes built before 1988, or that do not have hardwired smoke detectors by January 1, 2023. Because the battery is sealed inside the alarm, it does not need to be replaced and cannot be removed. At the end of its 10-year life cycle, the alarm will automatically alert the homeowner to replace the alarm.
Smoke alarms should be replaced when they are ten years old. The City of Carbondale Fire Department will provide and install free smoke detector(s) and replace smoke alarm batteries in any person’s home in Carbondale who cannot afford to purchase one. We strongly encourage our citizens to take advantage of this program. The City of Carbondale Fire Department is doing its part to educate about the importance of fire prevention. Still, actual safety lies with you and your willingness to take the steps needed to protect your home and family from fire. We sincerely hope everyone participates in one or more of these activities and starts working towards an educated community protected from fire devastation.
For more information about the Fire Prevention Week program and activities, please get in touch with the City of Carbondale Fire Department Administrative Office at 618-457-3234 or like our Facebook page: City of Carbondale Fire Department. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention in general, visit www.fpw.org. For fire safety fun for kids, visit www.sparky.org.