October is National Fire Prevention Month

Rainbow Lakes Fire Department

PARSIPPANY — Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Company will not hold their annual “open house” this year due to COVID 19 safety concerns for neighborhood children, adults, along with the members of the Department.

This year’s national fire prevention theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” as cooking is one the leading cause of home fires. You can do a lot to prevent kitchen fires. Although you can’t remove every possible source of a kitchen fire, you can minimize fire risks by removing hazards and maintaining your kitchen. Follow these prevention tips to keep your kitchen safe:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen, especially if you’re cooking in grease or if the oven is at very high heat. Turn off the burner or oven if you need to leave the house or get caught up in a phone call.
  • Keep appliances serviced, clean, and in good repair. Dump the crumb tray and clean out the toaster crumbs periodically from the toaster or toaster oven. Wipe out the microwave.
  • Clean the oven (check for mouse nests especially if you haven’t used your oven recently).
  • Unplug electric appliances when not in use. Toaster ovens, mixers, coffee makers, and so on, continue to draw electricity even when they’re not turned on. So if the wiring is old or faulty, or if the thermostat overheats, a fire could break out.
  • Install a smoke detector near, but not in the kitchen. You don’t want the small amount of smoke or steam that cooking sometimes generates to constantly trigger the alarm — but you do want it to sense an actual kitchen fire.
  • Don’t use metal in the microwave. The sparks can turn into fire or can seriously damage your microwave.
  • Don’t overfill pots or pans with oil or grease. The hot oil or grease, like in this figure, can splatter and cause a fire.   Grease buildup is flammable. A clean stove is a fire-free stove.
  • Always roll up long sleeves and tie back long hair when cooking. You don’t need your beautiful flowing silk sleeves trailing in the spaghetti sauce, and you certainly don’t need to catch on fire!
  • Keep dish towels, pot holders, and paper towels away from the stove. You might have left a burner on by accident, and built-up heat could ignite combustibles left near or on the stove or oven.

RLVFC is also encouraging families to develop a fire safety plan including what do in case of a fire and take fire prevention steps to prevent fires. Children need to learn what to do when they hear a smoke alarm beeping and hear this frequently from their parents.   Families need to share with children the importance of making a fire escape map of their home Below is a rhyme to help your children (and adults also) remember what to do when you hear the smoke alarm beep.  Say each line and have them repeat after you.

The house is on fire  –   Don’t hide, Go outside!
The alarm is beeping  –    Don’t hide, Go outside!
The smoke is getting higher   –    Don’t hide, Go outside!
Wake up if you’re sleeping and hear the alarm    –     Don’t hide, Go outside!