In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8-14, 2023, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is teaming with fire departments across the state for several events to encourage families to uphold this year’s campaign theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.”
“It’s easy to lose focus when you’re cooking, especially if you’re entertaining kids,” said Commissioner Causey. “So many fires happen because people are simply not paying attention in the kitchen or on the grill. Keeping a close eye on what you’re cooking could help prevent fires and save lives.”
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA):
- U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 158,400 home structure fires per year started by cooking activities between 2017-2021.
- These fires caused an average of 470 deaths and 4,150 reported injuries annually.
- Ranges or cooktops were involved in the 53% of reported home cooking fires, 88% of cooking fire deaths and 74% of cooking fire injuries.
- Unattended cooking was the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties.
So far in 2023, there have been 104 fire deaths in North Carolina. Last year, there were 151. To help reduce the number of home fire deaths caused by cooking, Commissioner Causey is traveling across the state to several Fire Prevention Week events hosted by fire departments to promote this year’s theme. He also created a broadcast quality video to showcase cooking safety tips that families can practice at home.
Here is Commissioner Causey’s public schedule for Fire Prevention Week events:
Southern Pines – Monday Oct. 9, 9:00 a.m.
Fire Prevention Week event hosted by Southern Pines Fire & Rescue
Aunt Sandi’s Learning Center
621 SW Service Road, Southern Pines, N.C.
Charlotte – Monday, Oct. 9, 2:00 p.m.
Fire Prevention Week event hosted by Charlotte Fire Department
Statesville Road Elementary School
5521 Milhaven Lane, Charlotte, N.C.
Concord – Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1:00 p.m.
Fire Prevention Week event hosted by Concord Fire Department
Concord Fire Station #12
3300 Roberta Road, Concord, N.C.
Commissioner Causey also offers these important home cooking safety tips:
- Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking. For foods with longer cook times, such as those that are simmering or baking, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.
- Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Create a “kid and pet free zone” of at least three feet around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
For more information about cooking and grilling safety, visit: NCOSFM.GOV.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.fpw.org.