EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFire Officials Stress Kitchen Safety To Prevent Fires
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 24, 2013 12:15 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 24, 2013 1:25 PM EDT
Cross Lanes , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Two out of every five house fires start in the kitchen. Fire officials demonstrated just how severe those type of blazes can be.
October is Fire Prevention Month, and fire officials want to remind people that cooking is the leading cause of house fires and the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
On Thursday at the American Red Cross West Virginia Region Office in Cross Lanes, they demonstrated what happens when hot oil and water mix -- just a little bit of water caused a huge fireball.
In 2012, the American Red Cross helped nearly 1,000 families in the West Virginia region and 90 percent of those families were affected by fires. Officials want to remind people to be careful, not only in the kitchen but with heating devices this winter. They also want people to know that if they fall victim to a house fire, they are there to help.
"The Red Cross is really there to make sure that when they've lost everything that they've got no place to go, they've got a place to lay their heads and sleep for a couple of days until they can figure out what they need to do," said Erica Mani, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross West Virginia Region. "They've got clothing on their backs. They've got food to eat. So meeting those immediate emergency needs is really the focus of the Red Cross after a fire."
Some things to keep in mind to avoid kitchen fires is to always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking and to turn off the stove if you must leave the room.
If you have young kids, fire officials suggest using the back burners on the stove whenever possible and to keep pets and kids at least 3 feet away from the stove.
It's also important to clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops to prevent fires.
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