The Peace River and County of Northern Lights Fire Departments are teaming up for Fire Prevention Week to share tips regarding safety in the kitchen. This year’s theme, running October 4th to 10th, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” is geared towards simple, yet important things to keep in mind while cooking in order to easily prevent kitchen fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, which is the leading sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, cooking accidents are the leading cause of injuries and fires at homes in Canada. The Association says the majority of house fires begin in the kitchen due to accidentally ignited food or cooking materials.

Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice-president, says cooking fires are easy to prevent so long as whoever is in the kitchen isn’t distracted from what they’re doing.

“Staying in the kitchen while cooking, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes,” she says.

Tim Harris, Fire Chief for the Town of Peace River and Regional Fire Chief of the County of Northern Lights adds kitchen fires are generally able to grow quickly if not properly dealt with.

“I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented,” he says.

Some of the safety tips shared by the fire departments include never leaving a hot stove unattended, not consuming drugs or alcohol while or before cooking, and to maintain a “kid-free zone” of at least one metre around a stove or area where hot food is being prepared.