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News and Events

for Immediate Release
October 2, 2013
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan
Mary MacCaffrie, Public Education Administrator
NH State Fire Marshal's Office
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

Prevent Kitchen Fires

At the request of State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan read a Proclamation declaring October 6-12 officially Fire Prevention Week Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

New Hampshire State Fire Marshal, J. William Degnan is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chiefs and New London Fire Chief Jason Lyon to remind NH residents to 'Prevent Kitchen Fires.' During this year's fire safety campaign, firefighters and safety advocates will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires – most of which result from unattended cooking – and teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place. Marshal Degnan states, " Fires originating in the kitchen in 2012 in the State of New Hampshire resulted in 118 structure fires, 17 civilian injuries, and 2 civilian fatalities."

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen – more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries. "Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Chief Lyon "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start."

Marshal Degnan states, "We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in all NH communities and throughout the state before they've suffered a damaging lesson."

Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling 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.
  • If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three away from the stove.
  • When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
  • Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.

Marshal Degnan reports that Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the state of New Hampshire and the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

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