According to the NFPA, there were 3,800 fire-related fatalities in 2021. The NFPA reports that a residential fire happens every 93 seconds, and three-quarters of fire fatalities are linked to residential fires.
BJFPD and Fire Districts across the country aim to change these statistics. Commemorate Fire Prevention Month by following important safety tips to protect property and save lives.
How can the community stay safe and prevent fires? Here are kitchen, open burn, and fireplace safety tips.
Kitchen Fire Safety
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, most residential fires originate from cooking. Unfortunately, leaving pots and pans simmering on stove tops unattended leads to spills that ignite and quickly burn out of control. Oven and grease fires also contribute to kitchen fire risks.
These five kitchen and cooking safety tips can help minimize fire risk:
Never leave cooking food unattended. While stepping away from a boiling pot or simmering stew is common, taking eyes off the burner for too long can lead to food dropping onto burners and igniting.
Allow room between food and heating elements. When cooking food in the oven, make sure food doesn’t come into contact with a heating element.
Always be mindful of grease splatters. When frying foods in a pan, avoid letting grease splatter onto burners. Pans should also be large enough for grease to simmer and cook.
Use grease pans when cooking in the oven. Place a pan beneath casserole dishes to catch any food that spills over. This habit can help minimize the risk of an oven fire.
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen at all times! The best extinguisher for the kitchen is a Class K fire extinguisher (K is for the kitchen!).
Bonfire Safety and Open Burn Safety
Open burns in many Districts require a permit. Residents must secure an applicable permit before burning leaves or hosting a bonfire. BJFPD offers permit applications for open burns on our website.
When burning leaves or starting a bonfire, follow these safety guidelines:
Only burn untreated wood. Never use wood treated with chemicals.
Do not use gasoline on the fire. If the embers are dying down, feed the flame with wood kindling.
Keep flammable materials away from the bonfire. Ensure chairs, blankets, or any other items are far away from the fire.
Always fully extinguish the fire. Every glowing ember must be extinguished!
Never leave a bonfire or burn unattended. A fire can quickly burn out of control; be mindful and don’t step away. In addition, call 911 immediately if a fire begins to spread.
Fireplace Safety: Stay Cozy and Safe this Winter
Cold winter days and snowy nights inspire many homeowners to get cozy in front of their fireplace. Before lighting the season's first fire, be mindful of safety. Use these five fireplace safety tips this fall and winter.
Schedule a fireplace maintenance service. A yearly appointment ensures the flue is clean and the fireplace is ready for crackling cozy fire. Service technicians also check the chimney for bird nests and other debris that present a fire hazard.
Make sure the flue is open. A closed flue leads to smoke backing up into the home.
Only burn untreated wood. Treated wood could pose both health and environmental hazards.
Keep all furniture and other flammable items away from the fireplace. Embers fly out of the fireplace and could catch furniture, rugs, and other items on fire.
Extinguish the fire before leaving the home or going to sleep. Make sure every ember is extinguished.
Fire Safety for Kids: Empower Children About Fire Prevention
Children need to learn about fire prevention and fire safety. Teach children the importance of staying safe and help them feel empowered in an emergency.
The NFPA offers numerous activities and information sheets to help children understand fire safety. Use these resources to begin a conversation with children.
Families can commemorate Fire Prevention Month by creating a fire safety plan with children.
This plan should outline exit routes and strategies in case of a house fire. In addition, families should designate a meet-up location for the family—and practice exit routines with children to ensure that they know what to do. Teach children to stay calm and not to panic.
In addition, children should learn that fire is not a toy. Children should never play with matches or lighters. Parents should keep these items away from their children.
Fire Safety and Fire Prevention is a Community Responsibility
Fire prevention is everyone's responsibility. Learn how to mitigate risk and stay safe; follow proper safety procedures and help BJFPD change the scary statistics related to fire deaths, injuries, and property damage.
The Black Jack Fire Protection District is devoted to fire safety, emergency preparedness, and community protection. We invite individuals from all walks of life to join us, offering support and resources for the safety and well-being of our community. Whether you're a concerned resident or a potential volunteer, BJFPDt is here to ensure your safety and provide assistance when needed.