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Dining
According to a news article out of the U.K., cooking is a major cause of accidental fires in homes in North Wales. As a result, the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is launching a new campaign, "We Don't Want to Come Dine with You - Think Safe, Cook Safe!," to help drive down the number of cooking-related fires in the area, and educate residents about the importance of cooking safely. A major focus of the campaign includes the dangers of leaving your cooking unattended. Sound familiar? We thought so. 

As you know from an NFPA cooking fires report, from 2007 - 2011 unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in kitchen-related fires in the U.S. So, what are a couple of easy things you can do to stay on top of your cooking? NFPA recommends the following:

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Find out more about cooking safely on NFPA's web pages.

As Gwyn Jones from the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service says in the article, "It is our responsibility to do everything we can to highlight that cooking causes a high number of house fires and to try and drive our messages home. But when it comes to changing behaviour to keep safe, we can only advice and then it is up to you, the individual, to make sure you heed our advice."

Sound words to live by. So what are you doing to keep accidents at bay in the kitchen? Share you stories with us. We'd love to hear your success story! 

FIRE PIT IMAGEDuring a recent Saturday I spent a lovely afternoon with friends at a Cape Cod waterfront resort. The grounds were breathtaking and terraced. The resort’s restaurant overlooked a patio, cabanas, and two beaches. Sailboats bobbed in the distance. The afternoon started out in the mid-80s, but by dusk the temperature dropped to the 60s and the wind picked up.

I looked down from my restaurant table and saw tall flames flickering from a large, circular fire pit in the center of the patio. Eager to warm themselves, about a dozen resort guests gathered around the fire pit; some sat with their backs to it on its stone ledge. My friends, who know I work for NFPA, suggested tongue-in-cheek that I leave my meal, run down the stairs and alert the guests to keep a safe distance from the fire pit. I didn’t have to. Pretty soon, a man and his son jumped off the ledge, rubbing their backs. Other guests moved away too.

As summer winds down, we’ll likely see more use of fire pits and other portable fireplaces. It’s important to follow safety rules, including keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away. You can check out additional information on portable fireplace safety and our tip sheet on the NFPA web site.

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