Whether you are making a loaf of bread, perfecting the best mac and cheese recipe or trying your hand at the intimidating French classic coq au vin, it is important to pay attention.
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10, and this year the theme is looking at keeping everyone safe while working in the kitchen.
The majority of domestic fires start in the kitchen.
Because so many people have spent much of their time stuck at home this year, and as a result picking up some new culinary skills, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) chose to make this year’s theme “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.”
Dennis Cole, fire chief with the Lacombe Fire Department, says now is a great time to remind the home chefs to be vigilant while cooking.
“We just want to remind folks to be attentive while trying to be a chef extraordinaire,” said Cole.
“There have been a lot of people stuck at home who are trying to cook more as a result, so it is important to us now to ensure everyone is safe.”
Cole has a few tips for home cooks, to ensure their safety while creating a masterful dish for their family.
Don’t leave anything unattended.
Cole says it is easy to walk away and get distracted by something else while cooking, but it is important to stay nearby whatever you are cooking.
Check on your food regularly.
When baking or roasting food, Cole says it is important to regularly check on your food. This will prevent it from burning, and “going beyond what is considered consumable,” and prevent the potential risk of a fire starting.
Cole advises against cooking when tired.
“If you are tired, really you shouldn’t be cooking,” he said. “It is so easy to go lay down on the couch while something is cooking, and then fall asleep and a fire starting.”
Cook with a pot lid nearby.
When cooking with oil or deep frying food, Cole recommends keeping a pot lid nearby in case a fire starts. A grease fire can only be put out by smothering the flame.
He says if such a fire were to occur while cooking, to turn off the heat and put the pot lid over the flame to snuff it out.
Overall, he recommends being vigilant while in the kitchen.
“A major part of our job [as firefighters] is to educate and ensure people are safe in their homes,” said Cole. “I am a big advocate for fire safety.”
The Lacombe Fire Department is celebrating Fire Prevention Week with a few events. The first event is a partnership with Domino Pizza.
On Oct. 6 the local fire department will be delivering pizza for Dominos. They members will also do a quick inspection and if everything is in working order, such as smoke detectors, the fire department will cover the cost of the pizza.
“We did it last year, and it was a great time for everyone. We all had a lot of fun,” said Cole.
On Oct. 8, the fire department is hosting an open house from 6-9 p.m. Members of the community are invited to come to the fire hall and talk to members, take in some of the fire safety information they have and have a great time.
Lastly, on Oct. 10 the department is taking the trucks out into the community. The trucks will be at Co-op and No Frills from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We are also doing out 2021 recruitment blitz right now. So if anyone is interested in joining us, you can come out to any of those events and talk to our members about joining up,” said Cole.