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Tips to prevent the leading cause of residential fires

By ThisIsReno
The Reno Fire Department is seeing an increase in residential fires caused by cooking and wants to remind residents to use caution when cooking.
“Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries,” advised Interim Reno Fire Marshal Dave Cochran. “By following a few safety tips these fires can be prevented.”
The National Fire Protection Association Safety Tips:
• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you do have a cooking fire:
• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
• Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
A recent report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration states the top cause of fires in homes is cooking equipment, accounting for an estimated 147,400 or 40% of residential fires each year between 2008 and 2010. Cooking was also associated with the largest percentage of fire-related injuries, an estimated average of 27.4% or 3,450, in the home. To view the complete report or more information visit www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens .
Residents can contact the Reno Fire Department’s Division of Fire Prevention at 334-2300 for more information about home fire safety or fire prevention.