The Saanich Fire Department offers tips for staying safe in the kitchen. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich firefighters prepare for modified Fire Prevention Week focused on kitchen safety

Pandemic shifts annual fire safety week online

With more families spending time at home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Fire Prevention Week 2020 focuses on kitchen safety as cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires.

From Oct. 4 to 10, fire departments across Canada are sharing fire safety for National Fire Prevention Association fire prevention week – marked annually since 1922.

READ ALSO: Mutual aid talks fizzle between Greater Victoria fire departments

According to the Saanich Fire Department, 25 per cent of all house fires in B.C. start in the kitchen so firefighters are encouraging residents to educate themselves and “serve up fire safety in the kitchen.” Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most safety talks and tips will be shared online rather than in person as in a typical year, explained Lt. Insp. Sean Lillis of the Saanich Fire Prevention unit.

Firefighters’ top tips for reducing the risk of kitchen fires and injuries include keeping cooking areas clear of clutter, creating a “kid-free zone” of at least three-feet around appliances and hot-food, cleaning grease and food from burners, staying focused on food as unattended pots are the leading cause of kitchen fires. Rather than leaving food on the stove unattended, firefighters recommend shutting off the heat as a precaution.

READ ALSO: Saanich fire unveils centennial memorial plaza honouring fallen firefighters

To prevent scalds and burns, firefighters suggest turning pot handles away from the edge of the stove and keeping hot foods and liquids away from the edge of the counter.

Should a small fire spark, the simple act of sliding a lid onto the pot and turning off the burner can keep the fire from getting out of control. However, in the event of a cooking fire, firefighters say occupants should leave the home and call 911 from outside.

READ ALSO: Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Try the Family Cooking Safety Checklist online at saanich.ca and for more fire safety tips, contact the Saanich Fire Department’s Fire Prevention unit by phone at 250-475-5500 or by email at fireprevention@saanich.ca.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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