Safety reminders for Fire Prevention Week

  • Published
  • By Keesler fire department
  • 81st Training Wing
The Keesler Fire Department is observing Fire Prevention Week Monday through Oct. 12 with various activities around the base.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12, there's an open house at the Keesler Fire Station, near the flight line next to the air traffic control tower. There will be fun, games, fire truck rides, free giveaways, Sparky the Fire Dog and the fire safety house.
Each year, fire causes many deaths and millions of dollars in property loss, Keesler's assistant chief for fire prevention. About half of all fires are caused by carelessness or lack of common sense. One out of ten fires is caused by cigarettes, matches, or other smoking materials.

Public education has brought great improvement in fire prevention in the United States, Every year since 1925, the president sets aside a week in October as Fire Prevention Week. Each person is urged to examine his or her own home, both inside and outside, to make it safe from fire. Use a fire prevention checklist to see causes of fires in the home and to prevent them in your home.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. The tragic 1871 conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The National Fire Protection Association's theme for this year's observance is "Prevent Kitchen Fires." According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, kitchen fires are the leading cause of all residential building fires at 26 percent. The NFIRS reported that kitchen fires occurred mainly from 4-9 p.m., peaking from 5-8 p.m. Oils, fats and grease were the leading cause of 51 percent of kitchen fires in residential facilities.

The Keesler Fire Department has a few tips for preventing kitchen fires in your home.

1. When cooking on the stove and in the oven, remain in or near the kitchen. Many fires begin when no one is in the kitchen.

2. When cooking with oil, heat oil slowly. The quickest way for grease to catch fire is for it to be heated too quickly.

3. Before cooking anything, make sure burners are cool and wipe up any spills in the drip pans around the burners before turning on the heat.

4. When using the oven, make sure that the oven is cleaned from previous spills and that there is nothing in the oven before you turn it on.

5. Always have a lid handy to smother a small stovetop fire.

In the event of a fire:

1. For small fires, use a lid or your home fire extinguisher to extinguisher the fire. If flames begin spreading, do not remain in the kitchen. Never use water or flour to extinguish the fire -- water will spread the fire and flour may cause a small explosion.

2. Turn off the heat. Never move the burning pan from the stove. Dial 911.

3. If you have a fire in your oven, keep the oven door closed and turn off the heat to smother the flames. If the flames are still visible after, crack the door just enough to get the nozzle of the fire extinguisher in and use it to extinguish the fire. Close the door and check for flames. Dial 911.

4. Always wear clothing that is not loose and won't hang over the pots and pans when you are cooking. If your clothing catches fire, immediately drop to the ground and roll back and forth quickly. Dial 911.

5. If the fire is large or spreading fast, evacuate the residence immediately and dial 911. All fires on Keesler are reportable even when they have been extinguished. If you're dialing from your cell phone, inform the dispatcher that you are on Keesler property. 

For more fire prevention questions, call 228-377-3330 or 3333.