The Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Company has partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police, Palmerton Ambulance, and MedEvac to provide an open house and public awareness safety day on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m.
The event will be held at the fire company, and will include demonstrations, poster contests with cash prizes, child safety awareness and safety seat checks by the Pa State Police.
They will be assisted by Palmerton Ambulance personnel. The Franklin Township Fire Company will also be on hand with their safety house to teach children how to get out of their house safely should a fire occur.
There will also be free refreshments and prizes throughout the day. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending this educational safety awareness day with your entire family. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 13.
How often has the doorbell rung or a child interrupted you while you were cooking, causing you to forget about the chicken you left sizzling on the stove, until smoke filled the house?
If this scenario or a similar one sounds familiar to you, you may want to think about it a little more because it's likely that you, a friend or family member has run the risk of having a dangerous fire. Fire Department officials often talk to people about the ways they can stay safe in their homes. Too often, they have that talk after they've suffered a damaging fire.
Keep an eye on what you fry, because cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The latest statistics from NFPA say U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-2011.
The fire company is joining forces with NFPA and thousands of other fire departments across North America to commemorate Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12, "Prevent Kitchen Fires." The theme reminds us that leaving cooking unattended and other unsafe kitchen practices are a recipe for disaster.
Often when the fire department is called to a cooking-related fire, the residents tell them they only left the kitchen for a few minutes. Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start.
The bottom line is that there's really no safe period of time for the cook to step away from a hot stove. A few key points to remember:
· Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling 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, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
· Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
· Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove.
· If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. If in doubt, get out of the home and call the fire department
· Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, do not remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department.
· If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department, by dialing 9-1-1.
A cooking fire can quickly turn deadly. The fire department has seen too many homes destroyed and people killed or injured by fires that could have been easily avoided.