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A recent article from London Community News paints a striking picture. Despite the London Fire Department's increased efforts to provide education and programs aimed at preventing cooking-related fires, since late January the city has seen a jump in the number of kitchen fires and is concerned for the welfare of its residents.  6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07fef7d5970d-320wi.jpg

 

 

According to the  Department, seven kitchen fires have occurred in the month of February alone. There was also one in January and one earlier this month. Out of the nine fires, three involved cooking oil. One such fire saw a resident actually attempt to remove the pot of boiling oil outside. He received minor burns.

As Deputy Chief Gary Bridge told London residents, "Kitchen fires are traditionally the most common and also easily prevented. We encourage people to not get distracted when cooking and be present at all times."

Sound words indeed.

And, okay, while I realize that a few of my cooking fire safety blog posts focus on the cooking fire problem in other countries, my main point is, cooking fires touch everyone regardless of where you live: a large cosmopolitan city like London or a small peaceful community in the American suburbs. We should never assume that a kitchen fire can't happen to us. The truth is, cooking fires is a global problem and one that NFPA continues to work really hard on alongside its partners and other fire safety organizations around the world.

So with that in mind, NFPA reminds residents to please take caution when cooking. Just a few simple tips can go a long way to keeping yourself and your family safe. You can start by:

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

Find out how to stay safer from kitchen fires by visiting NFPA's Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage where you'll find videos, checklists, safety tips and so much more. This year, make it a point to eliminate the fire hazards associated with cooking. We're here to help. To find out more, visit us at www.nfpa.org/cooking.

SMOKE ALARM CHILD WITH FAMILY (2)
Schoolchildren across the nation are not only reading their favorite books all this month during National Reading Month, they’re dressing up based on the characters and themes from the stories.

A little boy in San Antonio, Texas, offers inspiration for children reading stories with a fire safety theme, like The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms, or Sparky’s Birthday Surprise on the Sparky School House website.

When three-year-old Noah Keck’s parents asked him last year what he wanted to dress up as for SMOKE ALARM CHILD POSES (2)Halloween he said he wanted to be a smoke alarm.  His father, Chad Keck, was not surprised. “Noah has leukemia and spent a lot of time in the hospital when he was originally diagnosed and was also stuck at home and started noticing things that others might not pay attention to.”

He says Noah was initially afraid of the smoke alarms, but he and his wife, Zahra, assured Noah that the alarms were there to protect him.

Chad says these days, nearly everywhere they go, Noah–who is now four years old–points out the smoke alarms and asks if they have fresh batteries. Whenever they pass the neighborhood fire station, Noah loves to check on the trucks. They are either “sleeping” or out “helping” someone because of a fire.

Noah’s costume was made by his grandmother. “He did go trick-or-treating on our street and the reactions were overwhelming,” said Chad. “Nearly everyone wanted to take a picture of Noah and his costume. Many said it was the best costume they’d ever seen.”

Chad says Noah is doing well. He’s been on daily treatment for his illness since his first birthday, spending months in the hospital and since then has had almost daily clinic visits.

If all goes well, his treatment will be tapered off later this year. His parents say he has been an inspiration to many other children at the clinic.

He is also a little fire safety ambassador who found a creative way to spread the message about the importance of having working smoke alarms, whether for Halloween, National Reading Month, Fire Prevention Week, or any other time of the year.

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