Firefighters Brian Connolly (left) and Bill Vickery (right) hang Fire Prevention Week banner on the front of the Rhinebeck Fire station, Sept. 2013.
Firefighters Brian Connolly (left) and Bill Vickery (right) hang Fire Prevention Week banner on the front of the Rhinebeck Fire station, Sept. 2013.

If you can’t stand the heat…

Stay safe in the kitchen, Rhinebeck firefighters remind you

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The Rhinebeck Fire Department is joining with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind local residents to “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”

During this year’s safety campaign for Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12, fire departments across the country will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires–most of which result from unattended cooking—and teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home-fire related injuries. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen—more than any other place in the home.

“Often when we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes,” said Rhinebeck Fire Chief Kevin Asher in a news release from the fire department. “Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they’ve suffered a damaging lesson.”

Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates emphasize:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
• If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, and use a timer to remind you.
• If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
• When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
• Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.
• Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.
• Always have working smoke detectors installed in your home.

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