The River Forest Fire Department will recognize Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12, with an Open House on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Fire Station, 400 Park Ave. in River Forest. Since more home fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home, this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is "Prevent Kitchen Fires."
The event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to take station tours, learn more about home safety programs and participate in demonstrations using the Fire Safety Trailer. Children can learn more about dialing 9-1-1 at a practice station courtesy of West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center.
The River Forest Police Department will be available to perform car seat safety checks. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will also be on hand helping guests create a Child ID kit that includes a photo ID and fingerprints. Representatives of Commonwealth Edison and NICOR Gas will be at the event and available to speak with guests about various programs and energy efficiency strategies. Giveaways and complimentary refreshments will also be available while supplies last.
According to the latest National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.
"When we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen we often hear that the resident only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said River Forest Fire Chief Jim Eggert. "Unfortunately, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week and our open house will help us reach people in the community before they experience it for themselves."
Firefighters emphasize the following safety tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
- If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- When you are simmering, 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 away from the stove.
- When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
- Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.
- Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.