REDINGS MILL, MO.--- "We are careless when it comes to cooking most times and the other side of that, you have an open heat source, you have flammables that can catch fire and everything in your home can burn these days," said Ronnie Metcalf, Redings Mill Assistant Fire Chief.
The assistant fire chief at Redings Mill Fire Protection District says kitchen fires are common because there's multiple aspects to it that make it a bad situation.
"Cooking fires are by far the most, they're also the most preventable fire. So when you are cooking, make sure you stay with you're food and don't leave it unattended," said Metcalf.
Ronnie Metcalf says most cooking involves grease, so it's easy for the fires to spread quickly and very difficult to put out. He says you should keep a fire extinguisher near a kitchen exit, but not every extinguisher will work in the kitchen.
"Most of your kitchen fires are going to involve flammable liquids which are animal fats, cooking oils, things like that. A class "k" extinguisher is designed to extinguish those types of fires and they'll do it in the least damaging way," said Metcalf.
Homeowners should also have a smoke detector on every floor, and they need to make sure the detector is compatible for the home layout. If you're wondering about that piercing alarm sound.
"The newer smoke detectors have a silence button to shut them off. So if you do burn toast or something like that, instead of taking them down and taking the battery out, you can just hit the button and it will delay from activating for 15-20 minutes," said Metcalf.
He adds every family should have a home escape plan, especially if children live in the home.
"You practice it often and you have a meeting place. Your meeting place needs to be away from the road where there are emergency vehicles, you're not going to want to impede traffic," said Metcalf.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 370,000 house fires nationwide in 2011. More than 2,500 people died from a fire which started in the kitchen.
"It's not just one month that you can do fire prevention and hope for the best, you have to do this all year long, but it's our one time to be out in the spotlight to get everybody thinking safe," said Metcalf.
Fire Prevention Week has been recognized annually for more than 85 years. It is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
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