“Prevent Kitchen Fires” was the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign. Ted Pisciotta, Shelton assistant fire chief for fire prevention, encouraged everyone to have safe kitchen habits with stoves, microwaves and other appliances.
“Remaining attentive while cooking and managing how close children and pets are to anything hot will help keep families safe,” Pisciotta said.
‘Keep an eye on what you fry’
The Shelton Fire Department offers the following advice:
— Be alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
— Keep an eye on what you fry. 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.
Keep items away from the stovetop
— Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from the stovetop.
— Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
— Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
— Keep a lid and oven mitt nearby when you’re cooking to use in case of a grease fire. If you have a grease fire, slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
More safety tips
The Shelton Fire Department includes the Echo Hose, Huntington, Pine Rock Park and White Hills volunteer fire companies. During October, local firefighters make a special effort to highlight fire safety activities.
The nonprofit National Fire Protection Association helps promote the annual Fire Prevention Week, which was Oct. 6 to 12 this year.
Businesses, organizations and individuals can visit the Fire Prevention Bureau website for fire safety tips by clicking on “Public Safety” at www.cityofshelton.org. The public is welcome to print and post the tips, or use them in newsletters or in other ways.
Have working smoke alarms
Local firefighters also stressed how important it is to have working smoke alarms throughout an entire home. They offered these tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly:
— Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
— If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
— Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
— Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.