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This short but to-the-point article in an Australian newspaper reminded me that no matter where we live in the world, fire safety is and should remain one of our top priorities.

According to The Advertiser, a food service worker from the Indian Masala restaurant, located in a small shopping center, had accidentally left a wok on, filled with oil, after service finished for the night. The oil continued to heat up until it ignited and set fire to the restaurant causing $100,000 worth of damage. Thankfully, no one was injured, but it did cause smoke damage to the nearby shops. Wok

It's easy to forget or ignore the easy things when we're in the throes of our busy lives, but let's see if we can remember these three simple, but life saving messages: 

  • Keep an eye on what you fry
  • Be alert when cooking
  • Keep things that can catch fire away from cooking area

According to NFPA, unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires. So please, stay close to the kitchen when you're preparing your meals, and after you've finished, check and recheck that all stove burners and the oven have been turned off. You don't want what happened at this local restaurant to happen at your house.

For more great information about cooking safety, check NFPA's web pages where you'll find tip sheets, checklists and other great resources that will help you and your family keep fire safety forever on the front burner!

Honolulu Fire Department HeadquartersHonolulu firefighters are reminding residents to test their smoke alarms to make sure they’re working. Interviewed recently by local television station KITV, Honolulu Fire Department Battalion Chief Terry Seelig stated that 70 to 80 percent of homes have smoke alarms, but of those, only 70 to 80 percent have ones that work.

Schools have joined in the public awareness effort and are creating murals to be displayed at fire stations throughout Oahu during Fire Prevention Week. More information on smoke alarms is available on NFPA’s smoke alarm page.

Smoke_alarmWhile smoke alarm success stories are powerful reminders of the potentially life-saving difference working smoke alarms can make, there are just as many home fire incidents in the news where dead or missing smoke alarm batteries, or a lack of smoke alarms altogether, carry deadly consequences.

That was the case in Milwaukee, WI, early yesterday morning, when a man died after a kitchen fire broke out in his apartment. There were no working smoke alarms in the unit.

According to Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski of the Milwaukee Fire Department, yesterday's fire death represents an unfortunate pattern for the city. “Every fire related fatality this year in the city of Milwaukee has been in a place that’s had no working smoke detector,” he said.

Clearly, smoke alarms play a pivotal role in home fires. When working properly, they can save lives. When they’re not, the consequences can be deadly.

So remember these basics: Test your smoke alarms each month, change the batteries annually, and replace all smoke alarms in your home every ten years. For more information on smoke alarms, visit NFPA’s Smoke Alarms Central page.

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