2006 National Fire Prevention Week Theme –"Prevent Cooking Fires-Watch
What You Heat"
Filed 10/9/06 GCN
Jackson –Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal George Dale announced today that
Governor Haley Barbour has proclaimed the week of October 8-14, 2006 Fire Prevention Week
in Mississippi. The state joins the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in promoting the
2006 National Fire Prevention Week Theme – "Prevent Cooking Fires-Watch What You Heat."
"Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA). The latest statistics from NFPA say that one out of every three home fires
started in the kitchen and more than 100,000 fires a year were related to cooking. This year’s
Fire Prevention Week theme reminds us that leaving cooking unattended and other unsafe
kitchen practices are a recipe for disaster," said Dale.
In 2005, cooking fires were listed as the cause of 893 residential structure fires in Mississippi.
Through September 15 of 2006, cooking fires are listed as the cause of 475 residential structure
fires in the state. During Fire Prevention Week in Mississippi, the State Fire Marshal’s Office
and fire departments throughout the state will be promoting safe kitchen and cooking practices.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office will also be distributing fire safety information at the Mississippi
State Fair which runs through October 15.
Some good kitchen and cooking safety tips to remember are:
• 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.
• 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
(1 meter) 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 and slide the pan off the burner. 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 to prevent flames from
burning you or your clothing. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the
For more information visit the State Fire Marshal’s Office webpage on the Mississippi Insurance
Department Website at www.doi.state.ms.us.