"The kitchen is no place to multi-task. Leaving pots and pans unattended can be a recipe for disaster," said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. "Cooking is the leading cause of fires and fire injuries in the home," he added. "So remember to 'stand by your pan' to prevent kitchen fires, and if one does occur, the best way to put it out is to 'put a lid on it.'"

Oct. 6-12, is Fire Prevention Week. This year's theme is Prevent Kitchen Fires.

No one thinks fire will happen to them, yet according to data from the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System, there were 9,905 cooking fires reported in Massachusetts homes during 2012 causing three civilian deaths, 75 civilian injuries, 26 fire service injuries and an estimated $10.8 million in property damage.

That's why it is so important to practice good fire safety by staying in the kitchen when cooking. If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove. When baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you. If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove. When you cook, wear clothing with short or tight-fitting sleeves, and use oven mitts to protect hands from hot liquid spills.

It's also important to be prepared by installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and to make and practice a home escape plan so everyone will know what to do in an emergency.


For information visit mass.gov/dfs and click on Fire Prevention Week.