The message for this year's Fire Prevention Week is "Prevent Kitchen Fires."
From October 6-12, The National Fire Protection Association will be spreading the word that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home. Through apps, online quizzes, and activities on their website, they will help teach people how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place.
Fast facts about fire
- Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
- Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
- The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- About half (49%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, air conditioning equipment water heater and range.
- Electrical failure or malfunctions caused an average of almost 50,000 home fires per year, resulting in roughly 450 deaths and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.
About Fire Prevention WeekFire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.
According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary - kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire. Chances are you've heard some version of this story yourself; people have been blaming the Great Chicago Fire on the cow and Mrs. O'Leary, for more than 130 years. But recent research by Chicago historian Robert Cromie has helped to debunk this version of events.
To read more about this research, click here for the rest of the story.
Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org ©2013 NFPA.