An open house and public awareness safety day was held recently at the Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Company in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 6-12.

The fire company partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police, Palmerton Ambulance, and Franklin Township Fire Company to conduct demonstrations, poster contests with cash prizes, and child safety awareness and safety seat checks by the Pa. State Police.

As a bonus, the Franklin Township Fire Company brought along their Safety House For Family to teach children how to get out of their house safely should a fire occur.

Siblings Abby James, 8, Riley James, 6, and Noah James, 4, of Palmerton, were contest as they listened intently to Franklin Township firefighter Chauncey Hearn inside the Safety House For Family.

Across from the Safety House, Beth Smith, of Nazareth, could be seen with her two children, Owen, 3, and Cameron, 1, who had red fire helmets on.

"I wanted to teach them about safety," Smith said. "They really love the trucks."

Rory Koons, president of the fire company, demonstrated how to put out a cooking fire.

Koons noted it's important to 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 while wearing an 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.

"We always recommend having at leat one fire extinguisher at home," Koons said. "Never use water on a grease fire."

The theme of how to "Prevent Kitchen Fires" is a reminder that leaving cooking unattended and other unsafe kitchen practices can be a recipe for disaster.