According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), equipment used in the kitchen causes 160,220 U.S. home structure fires per year, resulting in 386 reported civilian deaths, 5,002 civilian injuries, and $869 million in direct property damage.
To increase public awareness and encourage a proactive approach to fire safety in the kitchen and throughout the home, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is teaming up with the NFPA to promote Fire Prevention Week 2013, taking place Oct. 6-12, 2013. NFPA’s 2013 campaign focuses on preventing kitchen fires, and ESFI’s “Recipes for Kitchen Safety” resources will assist this effort by identifying hazards associated with certain appliances and behaviors commonly involved in such fires.
“While cooking is the leading cause of residential fires that result in injury, it is important to understand that hazards in the kitchen exist beyond ranges and stove tops,” said Brett Brenner, president of ESFI. Just like safe cooking practices, proactive electrical safety measures are vital to ensure the safety of not only the kitchen, but the entire home.”
ESFI has created the Fire Prevention Week 2013 Toolkit, titled “Recipes for Kitchen Safety” to help recognize and anticipate dangers associated with common kitchen appliances. The “Recipes for Kitchen Safety” checklist encourages consumers to take inventory of potential kitchen hazards and test the functionality of their safety devices to reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. Detailed tip sheets about arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) further explain the importance of available safety devices and how to properly maintain them. Lastly, a detailed smoke alarm safety tip sheet ensures the home is adequately protected by smoke alarms in case a fire occurs.
Additional ESFI fire safety resources available on the ESFI website support NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week efforts. The Virtual Fire Drill is an interactive demonstration that allows families to put their fire safety knowledge to the test while “escaping” from a simulated home fire. ESFI encourages children to learn about fire safety as well. P.I. Plug’s Smoke Alarm Safety Video teaches children about the importance of smoke alarms as well as simple fire safety skills.
Learn more about kitchen fire safety and electrical fire prevention with the many videos and interactive activities available on ESFI’s website at www.esfi.org.