This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 4th through 10th, is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” as the Regional District of Central Kootenay is specifically emphasizing kitchen safety.

The RDCK said this year’s theme is especially crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic as more people and more are stuck inside having to cook for themselves. According to the Office of the Fire Commissioner, cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire injuries in British Columbia.

“I think paying attention to your cooking is just like paying attention to a campfire,” said Gord Ihlen, RDCK Regional Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Prevention Officer. “You watch for sparks flying out, you make sure it doesn’t get out of control, you keep people away from the hot zone, and you extinguish it when you’re done or you’re unable to keep an eye on it, and the same goes for cooking.”

The RDCK has released a few safety tips when cooking in the kitchen.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended
    • If you need to leave, turn off the stove
  • When cooking food, make sure you check it regularly
    • Use a timer to remind you
  • You need to be alert when cooking
  • Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid close by when cooking
    • If a small fire breaks out, slid the lid over the flame
  • Have a “kid-free-zone”
    • At least three feet around the stove

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, Vice-President of Outreach and Advocacy for the National Fire Protection Association. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoid distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

MORE: Fire Prevention Week (National Fire Protection Association)