This year, Fire Prevention Week (FPW) runs from October 4-10 and the theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”, as cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
Typically, the Martensville Fire Department (MFD) hosts an open house at the fire hall in honour of FPW; however, due to COVID-19, this year will be done a little differently.
Although the fire that took place this weekend on Highway 12 put things behind a little, Deputy Fire Chief Dean Brooman stated that the MFD would be posting information on their Facebook page regarding this year’s theme and some tips to help prevent fires within the kitchen.
“Kitchen fires are one of our number one fires, so we want to make sure that people are being fire smart when cooking and using equipment in the kitchen,” Brooman said.
Some tips to follow when in the kitchen include:
• Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave, even for a short 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’re cooking.
• You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or have consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
• Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
• Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 1 metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Some advice from Brooman heading into Thanksgiving weekend is to ensure that you properly know how to cook a turkey. “Trying to cook quickly at high temperatures doesn’t necessarily turn out well. Do your research on how to cook it properly and it might just save you some issues in the end.”
Fire can happen quickly, so Brooman stated that it is important to have a fire extinguisher within your home so you can act on it as soon as possible. “If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, or you can’t afford one, make sure you always have something nearby to help smother the fire, like a pot lid, and always remember that you do not add water to a grease fire. You want to smother it and that will quickly extinguish the flame.”
Another tip was regarding power outages and to ensure that if the power does go out while you are cooking, to ensure that you turn off the stove or oven. “People can forget that the stove or oven was on and when the power comes back on, that can quickly get out of hand.”
For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit the ‘Martensville Fire Department’ Facebook page.
A Thank You to the MFD
As a community, we often see the work that is done by the Martensville Fire Department when it comes to fires within the community and surrounding areas, as well as vehicle collisions; however, we often don’t see the compassion that is shown to people when they respond to medical calls.
Jamie Shiels took a moment to acknowledge the kindness that the MFD showed to her dearest friend with her new born baby during a call on October 1st.
Shiels said that the MFD knocked on the door and upon entering made sure that the baby and her mom were taken care of. “One of the gentleman even grabbed her slippers and her blanket and said that it was pretty cold out. They were calm and reassuring. I was so pleased to hear this. We are new in the community, and don’t know too many people. Martensville is such a beautiful community with very generous people.”
Unable to be there, Shiels stated that this kindness that was shown during a difficult time was greatly appreciated. “Thank you for your dedication. You were there when I couldn’t be. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your team did a wonderful job.”