More house fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.
And preventing these fires is the theme of this year's fire prevention week (Oct. 6 to 12) in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows This year, Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Services is partnering with the non-profit National Fire Protection Association to help spread the word about the dangers of kitchen fires.
Resulting mainly from unattended stoves, kitchen fires are also the leading cause of home-related injuries, said Pitt Meadows' assistant fire chief Brad Perrie.
"Often we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," Perrie said.
"Unfortunately, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that fire prevention week will help us reach people in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."
Perrie and other firefighters will be on-hand this weekend to explain these dangers during an open house at the Pitt Meadows firehall, located at 19240 122A Ave. The open house runs from noon to 3 p.m. In addition to the fire department, CP Rail, BC Ambulance, the RCMP, and Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue will also be on-hand to answer questions and interact with visitors.
"It will definitely be a jam-packed few hours," said Perrie.
There will also be light refreshments, numerous giveaways, a kids obstacle course, and the chance to become "chief for a day."
Across town in Maple Ridge In Maple Ridge, there are a number of similar events and promotions taking place during fire prevention week.
Fire Hall No. 1 will also be hosting an open house on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 22708 Brown Ave. (at Dewdney Trunk Rd.) from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. A Panago Pizza partnership - that has proved popular in past - will see firefighters accompanying a Panago delivery driver on randomly selected orders between 6 and 9 p.m. If the customer can demonstrate a fire escape plan and all the smoke alarms in their house work, their Panago order is free.
Firefighters will also be delivering pamphlets to all Maple Ridge students in kindergarten
through Grade 3 that teach them about fire safety through various activities.
Students who take home the completed activity sheet for their parent's signature can return it to their school and automatically be entered to win an iPad and a chance to become fire chief for a day.
Safety foremost in the kitchen Both fire departments offer a series of tips to prevent kitchen fires in the home:
Stay in the kitchen while cooking;
If leaving the kitchen, turn of the stove;
Use a timer as a reminder when to check the food;
Have a one-metre "kid-free" zone around open fires and space heaters;
Test smoke alarms monthly; and
Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.
More safety tips at www.nfpa.org.
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