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October 9, 2013
Fort Benning Fire and Emergency Services

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 9, 2013) -- It's Fire Prevention Week and from Oct. 6-12 the Fort Benning Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association to remind local residents to 'Prevent Kitchen Fires.' During this year's fire safety campaign, firefighters and safety advocates will spread the word about the dangers of kitchen fires -- most of which result from unattended cooking -- and teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen -- more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Steven Lowell, assistant chief fire prevention. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."

Among the safety tips firefighters and safety advocates emphasize:

•Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.

•If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

•When you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home and use a timer to remind you.

•If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.

•When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

•Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels and anything that can burn, away from your stovetop.

•Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.

The Fort Benning Fire Department and other installation safety personnel will be at the Main Exchange Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. conducting extinguisher demonstrations and giving away fire prevention material.