October and Halloween go hand in hand, but this crisp, cozy fall month is also the week to raise awareness for fire prevention. October 8 to 14, 2023, is National Fire Prevention Week 2023. But not everyone may feel excited about this week’s celebration. If you’ve been hurt in a fire caused by someone else’s negligence, contact a West Palm Beach burn injury lawyer to learn about your legal options for compensation.
When is Fire Prevention Week in 2023?
Join the fire departments in your local community for tips on preventing kitchen fires, lessons in using fire extinguishers, and strategies to reduce the risk of a kitchen fire.
What’s the theme for Fire Prevention Week 2023?
This year’s theme is “Cooking Safety Starts With You.” According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires comprise nearly half (49%) of all preventable home fires involving cooking or kitchen equipment.
The theme this year focuses on preventable fires in the kitchen. Grease and oil fires can quickly get out of control. Learning the best way to extinguish a cooking fire can make the difference between a small fire that is contained rapidly and a blazing inferno that could cause you to lose your home – or your life.
“Cooking Safety Starts With You”
Stay in the kitchen, use a timer to prevent food from burning, and avoid distractions when cooking. Fire prevention starts with each of us. You can ensure your home-cooked meals and holiday gatherings stay safe by taking the following steps.
Keep a close eye on your food
Foods that are simmering or braising should be checked frequently
Set a timer on your oven or stove
to prevent fires caused by boil-overs or over-cooking
Keep flammable or combustible items away from your cooking area
like potholders, dish towels, or food packaging
Create a “cooking zone” around the stove, oven, or grill
Keep small children and pets out of the way
Keep accidental spills and burns from hot pots
from happening by turning the handles toward the back and outside of the stove, not the front
Always cook clean
Wipe up any spilled food or grease left behind on the stove after each meal to prevent it from catching fire the next time you use the stove
Facts about cooking and home fires in the U.S.
There are some shocking statistics in the NFPA’s most recent Home Structure Fire Report:
- 75% of all civilian fire deaths were due to house fires
- U.S. firefighters responded to over 343,000 home fires in the most recent five-year period
- In the last 5 years, more than 2,600 people perished in home fires, and a further 11,090 were injured
- Home fires caused over $7.6 billion in damage in the report’s five-year period
- Cooking was the leading cause of the home
From 2016 to 2020, cooking was the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, while smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports some startling facts about Florida home fires and cooking:
- In 2021, home fires caused 6.2 deaths and 30.6 injuries per 1,000 fires
- Fire injuries in Florida were significantly higher than the national average of 20.9 per 1,000 fires
- Home fire fatalities were higher in 2023 than in 2022, with 61 compared to 52
There are 462 fire departments in Florida, and about 50% of the firefighters are volunteers. When you visit your local fire station for National Fire Prevention Week 2023, be sure to thank your local volunteers!
Home fires cause thousands of deaths each year
Home fires are mostly preventable, but every year, thousands of people are seriously injured in fires that start when trying to cook a simple meal.
Home fires have a variety of causes
Housefires can start in a multitude of ways. With a little care and caution, you can prevent a fire caused by:
- Cooking grease splatters that hit an open flame
- Incendiary items placed next to lit burners that catch fire
- Boil-overs, or unwatched pots or pans whose contents spill onto the burner and ignite
Smoke detectors significantly reduce the risk of dying in a house fire
Smoke detectors were present at just 44% of residential fires. Early detection can help you react in time to contain the blaze or alert those in the residence to follow your designated escape plan. Out of the 44% of homes where a smoke detector was present, only 62% were operational.
When was the last time you checked the batteries in your smoke detector? The general rule of thumb is to change them every three months and check your smoke detectors to ensure they work when you change the batteries.
Ways to recognize National Fire Prevention Week around Florida
Do you need a fire extinguisher or a smoke detector? Visit the Boynton Beach Fire Rescue Department on Thursday, October 12 from 11 am – 1 pm, for a safety giveaway.
- Fire Station #5: 2080 High Ridge Rd, Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Or, your child can enter a National Fire Prevention Week 2023 poster contest sponsored by the Pembroke Pines Fire Department. All posters and dioramas will be on display in community fire stations.
Contact a West Palm Beach burn injury lawyer today
Are you suffering from burn injuries due to a fire that could have been prevented if not or the negligence of another party? Contact an experienced West Palm Beach burn injury lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today by calling (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation.