TRENTON, NJ   -- With Fire Prevention Week under way, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes has reminded residents of simple but important safety measures to take to prevent fires, particularly in the kitchen. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire Prevention Week is October 4 through 10 this year and is focusing on cooking safety and preventing kitchen fires at home.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half -- 44 percent -- of reported home fires start in the kitchen. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“Our members are always prepared to answer an alarm,” Captain Shane Mull said on behalf of FMBA Locals 84 and 284. “However, above all else we want our residents to be fire safe, and we hope all will take some simple precautionary steps to keep us from having to put our training into action.”

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Hughes offered the following tips to prevent a home kitchen fire including never leave cooking food unattended; use a timer as a reminder that food is simmering, baking, etc; be alert when cooking and not drowsing from fatigue, medication or alcohol; keep an oven mitt and pan nearby to use if a grease fire starts; and have a three-feet "kid-free-zone" around the stove or areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried. 

For more information about fire safety, visit NFPA for more safety tips to prevent a cooking fire.

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