Escondido students participate in home fire escape plan contest

Third grade participants in this year’s Fire Prevention Week poster contest.

The Escondido Fire Department teamed up with the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation (Fire Foundation) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week (FPW) for more than 100 years — to promote this year’s FPW campaign, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.” The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take when cooking to keep themselves and those around them safe.  

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths. 

“Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires by far, accounting for half (49 percent) of all U.S. home fires,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. “These numbers tell us that there is still much work to do when it comes to better educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.” 

The Escondido Fire Department encourages all residents to embrace the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Cooking safety start with YOU,” said Escondido Fire Chief John Tenger. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”

Escondido Fire Department offers these key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire.

1. Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

2. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. 

3. Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Escondido Fire Department and the Fire Foundation sponsored a poster contest for 3rd graders at two local Escondido Schools. The Fire Foundation provided prizes for 1st and 2nd place winners at each school. The winners were also recognized at the October 11 Escondido City Council meeting.  

For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking safety, visit www.fpw.org. For fire safety fun for kids, visit sparky.org.

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