Serve up fire safety in the kitchen

The Scarborough Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” The campaign is designed to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44 percent) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66 percent) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

The Scarborough Fire Department encourages all residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme. The most important step you should take before making a meal is to Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!  A cooking fire can grow quickly. We have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.

The Scarborough Fire Department would like to share the following safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire:

Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medication, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.

Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

The Scarborough Fire Department also wants to remind all residents to remember the following:

• Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

• Have a home fire escape plan and practice it

• As winter approaches maintain heating appliances in a safe manner

• Be vigilant around candles and open flames

The Scarborough Fire Department has been forced to change its usual fire prevention activities this year due to COVID-19. Instead of in-person visits we are creating a public education video that we are planning to share with our school department, child-care providers, and add on our social media platforms. Along with the video we are also putting together educational packets that will be distributed to K-2 schools and our pre-schools. Unfortunately, we are not able to conduct open house activities at our stations this year, but we look forward to a time in the future when we can get back to normal fire prevention and public outreach activities.

If you have any questions regarding fire prevention or public education please feel free to reach out and we will be happy to assist. I can be reached at 207-730-4051 or by email at [email protected]

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