Fire Prevention Week Brings Theme of Kitchen Safety
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - October is not only the month of changing leaves and trick-or-treaters, but it is also Fire Prevention Month.
Fire Prevention Month is celebrated to bring public awareness to safety measures that should be used to avoid fires. To kick the month off, the National Fire Protection Association is promoting Fire Prevention Week from October 4 until the 10th.
“The reason it coincides with that is the anniversary of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow knocking over the lantern and starting the great Chicago fire. That’s actually why they choose that week every year,” said Meridian Township Fire Inspector Tavis Millerov.
Fire Prevention Week usually has a theme given by the NFPA to bring focus on different fire safety precautions.
Millerov said that these themes can be as simple as doing exit drills in the home or checking the dates and batteries on smoke alarms.
This year’s theme is Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.
“Kitchen fires are a leading cause of fires throughout America, and I will say with certainty that they are the number one cause of fires in Meridian Township,” said Millerov. “More people are at home nowadays because of COVID-19, so this just seemed to be the most natural thing to do as far as the theme this year to work on for Fire Prevention Week purposes.”
Millerov said the most important thing to do in the kitchen is to be attentive. He said that bringing cooking into the picture while multitasking and being on the go can just go bad.
The Meridian Fire Inspector also suggests knowing one’s limits when it comes to cooking ability.
“If you’re not a world-renowned chef, don’t try to be,” said Millerov.
This tip comes from one of Millerov’s stories of a time earlier this year when a house fire started when someone tried to make beignets. This attempt ended up in the burning of their whole condo.
“Leave the really serious cooking to the professionals,” Millerov said.
Millerov’s third tip is to avoid loose clothing while cooking. Loose sleeves and other articles of clothing can catch fire if they are too close to the burner, or they can knock into other things and create problems there.
For the fourth tip, Millerov said he’d appeal to the college crowd.
“After a long night of partying or going out to the club or anything like that, just get some takeout,” said Millerov. “Don’t try to cook, because inevitably someone falls asleep or passes out on the couch and bad things ensue.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meridian Township’s Fire Department is not holding any events or doing anything special for Fire Prevention Month or Week. Instead, they are focusing on promoting fire safety through media outlets.
There is a statewide fire prevention task force called MI Prevention where Millerov sits on its statewide council. This task force is made up of not only fire service individuals, but other service industries as well such as the red cross.
MI Prevention has been releasing information across its social media platforms this week to promote the importance of Fire Protection Month and fire safety. This spread of informative flyers and PSA’s will continue throughout the end of October.
For further information on fire safety or fire prevention month or week, visit: