Fire prevention week focuses on kitchen safety

La. state fire marshal focuses on kitchen safety tips during Fire Prevention Week

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - During Fire Prevention Week, the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (LAOSFM) is focusing on the dangers of kitchen fires.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says one of the most common starting points for fires is in the kitchen. He says the most important thing you can do is never leave a cooking project unattended. If a fire does start, he says it’s important to know how to react.

“We see a lot of fires where the pot catches on fire and people just don’t know what to do. The easiest way to stop a fire that’s burning in a pot is to cover that pot with its lid and it smothers the fire out,” said Browning.

Browning also says never use water to put out a grease fire, because that can cause the flames to flare out of control. You can cut the power or gas to your appliance, but if that fails, he says do not hesitate to get out and call 911.

“Your life is not worth trying to save a kitchen. It can be replaced,” said Browning.

The state fire marshal recommends keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, but he says your most important lifesaving tool is a working smoke alarm. He says you should keep a smoke alarm in every level of your home, one in every bedroom, and test them regularly.

He says it’s also important to teach your kids about fire safety, both in and out of the kitchen.

“Every fire started real small. I mean, you look at the wildfires in California. That is tragic and destructive both to life and property. That started by a single match,” said Browning. “So the destructive power of fire is phenomenal.”

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