National Home Fire Safety Week 2017
Canada Safety Council
With the holiday season quickly approaching, your mouth may be watering at
the thought of turkey, apple pie and mashed potatoes. The season is usually
accompanied by a variety of good foods, but it's also too often marred by
tragedy in the form of kitchen fires.
November 24-30 is National Home Fire Safety Week and the Canada Safety
Council is reminding all Canadians to be extremely careful in the kitchen.
Cooking is the lead cause of home fires in Canada, and the holiday season
tends to bring with it a significant amount more of baking, cooking,
braising and general oven use.
It's important when discussing this topic to make the first point abundantly
clear: never leave food unattended on the stove. It doesn't matter if it's
just for a minute, or for a quick phone call, or for a knock on the door, or
even being caught up with children. Cooking requires your full attention
because a fire can be sparked very quickly and spread even quicker. Be
proactive and watch your food so in the event of an unexpected fire, you're
able to act quickly and decisively before it escalates.
The key to this, of course, is being prepared to act quickly. If your
holiday celebrations have left you a bit inebriated, quick and decisive
action may no longer be possible. Consider ordering out rather than cooking.
It's much less risky than the possibility of not being able to react in time
due to dulled reflexes.
Here are some tips on how to handle a fire, should one occur:
If at any time you feel endangered or unable to control the fire,
call the fire department and evacuate the house. Make sure your family knows
the fire escape route and they're able to get out safely.
In the event of a fire in your oven or microwave, close the door and
turn it off. The lack of oxygen will eventually smother the flames and
prevent them from feeding and growing.
Similarly, if your fire happens in a pan, use the oven mitt to clap
on the lid then remove the pan from the heat source. It, too, should fizzle
out due to lack of oxygen. If you don't have a lid for it or are unable to
put it on safely, use a fire extinguisher and aim at the base of the fire.
Grease fires can be especially treacherous. Never use water to try
and put one out, as the grease will get repelled and risk spreading the fire
further. Instead, use baking soda or salt (but never flour,) and use a large
wet cloth to smother the fire.
Never swat at or blow on a fire. Kitchen fires don't necessarily
behave like birthday candles - the air movement is far more likely to spread
the fire than it is to put it out.
And, of course, make sure your hair is tied up and your clothing
fits comfortably without being too loose. These can accidentally catch fire
and make the whole process
The Canada Safety Council wishes you a very pleasant and safe holiday
season, completely devoid of injury and disaster but instead filled with
love and good memories.