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UN Cookstoves Future Summit emphasizes the need for cooking safety in impoverished countries

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Dec 1, 2014

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As you've come to learn, NFPA's Safety Source blog is a great resource to get important information about cooking fire safety. Whether it's safety tips or stories, statistics or reports, NFPA provides a real-world view of the challenges we all face, and ways we can help each other create a more safer environment, free from fire, for ourselves and our families.

This week, I read a press release that came out of the UN News Centre. Fire safety in the kitchen is a huge problem around the world, as we know, but as this news from the UN reminds us, cooking safety can and does go beyond the typical kitchen scenario that we all picture. The release provides a really unique snapshot of a "kitchen" safety problem we may not even be aware of, but plays a huge role in daily life in parts of the world less known to those of us here in the U.S. And I just had to share ...

According to the release, the UN held its first-ever Cookstoves Future Summit, hosted by the Global Alliance on Clean Cookstoves, November 20-21 in New York City. At the Summit, which brought together more than 65 ministers, CEO's and directors from around the world, the UN World Food Programme pledged to help 10 million people safely prepare and consume the food it provides by 2020. 

The agenda focused on helping to define solutions aimed at improving the health of women living in poverty in areas such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, and who lack the necessary goods and services they need to create a safer cooking environment. For example, they are looking at ways to introduce fuel-efficient stoves and clean cookstoves that  ensures these women can properly cook food without jeopardizing the environment, or their personal safety.

According to the UN, every year, houshold air pollution from cooking kills over four million people and sickens millions more. The World Health Organization (WHO) says nearly three billion people worldwide continue to rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts.

During this time of thanksgiving, it's important remember why we practice safe cooking. And OK, we may not be as big as the United Nations, and as individuals we may not have as lofty a goal of helping 10 million people prepare food more safely, but as family members, we should try to do our very best in helping keep our own kitchens as safe as possible for ourselves and for those we love.

Over the next few weeks as you prepare your holiday meals and gather with friends and family, take the time to review some basic cooking fire safety tips and make those smart choices, even when you feel pressed for time or distracted by the merriment in the next room. Your due dilligence can and will make all the difference.

You can find all of this information on NFPA's cooking fire safety central web page. And I always say, this information is available to download so please share it with friends and other family members. Enjoy the holidays, everyone, and please be safe!

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