As I watch the news, read posts on social media and read the Daily Business Plan, fires caused by cooking-related issues continue to occur...

As I watch the news, read posts on social media and read the Daily Business Plan, fires caused by cooking-related issues continue to occur regularly. There is not a day that goes by that a fire department somewhere in this nation is responding to a kitchen fire. Since it happens every day, it’s a problem worth talking about.

The large majority of all kitchen fires are preventable, but intentional steps must be taken to do so.

We continue to classify these fires as accidental, which seems to lessen the blow. The stark reality is that your kitchen fire is your fault!

Let me list some of the many things that lead to a kitchen fire:
•You are cooking and something or someone distracts you, taking you out of the kitchen.
•You are cooking and tired. You lie down and fall asleep, while something is cooking on the stove.
•You are cooking and forget that you are cooking.
•You leave home and return to fire units at your home. An appliance issue causes a fire whether you are at home or not.
•A fire occurs because combustibles are too close to the stove. You might even be in the kitchen when this fire occurs.
•You try to heat cooking oil too fast.
•Aromatic candles, used to replace smells, can cause a fire.
•A buildup of grease from a lack of cleaning can lead to a fire.
•Using an oven as a heat source can lead to a fire.

These are not the only causes of kitchen fires, but they are enough to get you thinking. The point is, which of these fit you? What bad behaviors, on your part, need to be corrected? Part of correcting a problem is knowing that a problem exists. Cooking is a full-time job that requires your undivided attention.

If the statement is: “when a kitchen fire occurs” vs. “if a kitchen fire will occur,” then we must be prepared. Preparation starts with taking every measure necessary to prevent a kitchen fire. The probability and possibility of a kitchen fire are higher than any other fire cause, though let’s not forget about all of the other potential fire causes in our homes.

Once we have done everything to prevent a fire, and I do mean everything, we then need to consider the needs:
•A proper number of properly placed and operating smoke alarms.
•A residential sprinkler system is not something that many will have, but when coupled with smoke alarms, the chance for survival in a fire is as close to 100 percent as it can be.
•A practiced home escape plan.

Take the steps necessary to protect your family and your home. Kitchen fires are happening each and every day, do your part to prevent them.