MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - This week is fire prevention week, and the theme this year is “Serve Up Safety in the Kitchen.”
The kitchen is where many fires in the home start.
“49 percent of all house fires are caused by something in the kitchen,” says Montgomery District Fire Chief Quentin Burke.
Montgomery Fire/Rescue says kitchen fires are preventable. It starts with staying focused on the food.
Unattended food is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
“Don’t leave it or step back from the food in any kind of way. You also want to check it regularly," said Sgt. Seth Jones. "Make sure that You have a timer, or some reminders such as a wooden spoon you’re carrying around.”
You should also keep cooking areas clear. Items like oven mitts, food wrappers, towels and curtains can easily catch fire.
“Make sure you don’t have like baggy clothing on. So you have a chance of let’s say you’re you’re cooking and you have long sleeves, it can drape over the flame and cause you to catch on fire," added firefighter Cory Augustine.
If you do have a fire in the kitchen, you can take simple steps to keep it from spreading.
If a small grease fire starts, put a lid on it.
“Keep the lid nearby. In case the food starts flaming up, you just want to slide the lid over, turn the stove off and you want to keep the lid on until it cools," said firefighter Keondrel Stovall.
He adds, if you have a fire in the oven, “You want to keep the oven door closed, and you want to turn the heat off.”
It’s not just fires you need to worry about in the kitchen. Hot liquids and steam can cause serious injuries.
Be sure to take steps to prevent scalds and burns.
“The best thing we suggest is keep your kids in the living room," said firefighter Rocky Suchocki.
He also says to keep handles away from the edges of surfaces. If you do have a fire, call the fire department immediately. Every second counts when responding to a fire.