Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4 to 10 and Kitchener Fire is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to promote this year’s campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”. The campaign works to educate residents about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada, and the majority of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Most home fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, vice-president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. “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.”

Kitchener Fire Department wants to remind all residents of the importance of fire prevention and encourages residents to keep kitchen fire safety top of mind in line with this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme.

“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” said Tom O’Hara, public education officer, Kitchener Fire Department. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. Many homes are damaged, and people injured from fires that could have been prevented by following simple safety tips.”

Kitchen fire safety tips:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 1 metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

To learn more about staying fire safe, creating an escape plan, and to find colouring and activity pages for kids, visit For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit


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Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing