Despite stepped-up educational efforts and programs aimed at eliminating cooking related fires, February’s rash of seven is cause for alarm.
There was only one cooking fire in all of January, but the London Fire Department has already responded to one stovetop fire this early in March.
The nine cooking fires have combined to injure five people and cause over $300,000 in damage. None of the injuries was life threatening.
Given that three of the fires involved cooking oil, the injuries could have been far more serious.
In one fire, the occupant attempted to remove the pot of boiling oil to the outside and received minor burns.
“Following residential fires, firefighting crews are canvassing the immediate neighborhood to distribute fire prevention information and check smoke alarms, if asked for assistance”, says Deputy Chief Gary Bridge. “Our After the Fire program has a strong focus on distracted and careless cooking, as well as other causes. Kitchen fires are traditionally the most common and also easily prevented. We encourage people to not get distracted when cooking and be present at all times.”
The fire department also reminds people that the law requires smoke alarms on every story of a dwelling and near every sleeping area.
Push the test button every month and replace batteries at least once a year.