Fire Prevention Week 2013 focusing on kitchen fires

Fire Prevention Week 2013 focusing on kitchen fires

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"Test your smoke detector. Make sure that it's working and will sound an alarm. Smoke detectors do save lives. It gives you that extra time to get out," said Capt. DJ Corcoran of the Knoxville Fire Department. "Test your smoke detector. Make sure that it's working and will sound an alarm. Smoke detectors do save lives. It gives you that extra time to get out," said Capt. DJ Corcoran of the Knoxville Fire Department.
Fires claim more American lives than all other natural disasters combined. Fires claim more American lives than all other natural disasters combined.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Sunday marks the start of Fire Prevention Week; a nationwide time to honor the brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to put out the flames.

But it's also about stopping those fires before they even start and often turn deadly.

Fires claim more American lives than all other natural disasters combined.

Local fire departments that battle blazes daily, like the Knoxville Fire Department, are getting in on the fire prevention effort.

They say many fires are easily preventable.

This week, KFD along with thousands of fire departments across the country, is working to teach locals ways they can help stop fires from happening in the first place.

The focus of this year's Fire Prevention Week is kitchen fires.

KFD says more than half of all house fires start in the kitchen.

One of the most common culprits is unattended stovetops.

"Never leave a stove unattended even for just a second to answer the phone," said Captain DJ Corcoran of the Knoxville Fire Department.

Once a kitchen fire starts, the flames can spread rapidly.

"A fire will double in size about every minute. So you take that into consideration, a stovetop fire, you've got paper towels, maybe a dish rag or something around that area. It spreads to that, it spreads to your cabinets and doubles every minute in size," said Corcoran.

KFD says always have an ABC extinguisher on hand in the kitchen.

Also, for extremely common grease fires, be familiar with the safest way to put them out.

"If you're got a grease fire, you want to just take a lid that covers the size of the pot or pan you're using and just smother that out," said Corcoran.

With fall upon us, they're offering other fire prevention tips as well.

When using a fireplace, ensure the embers aren't going to fall into uncleaned gutters filled with dry, highly ignitable leaves.

"Make sure that your gutters are cleaned out. Make sure any dry foliage is raked back and away from your home," said Corcoran.

Fire Prevention Week is also a good time to check your smoke detectors.

"Test your smoke detector. Make sure that it's working and will sound an alarm. Smoke detectors do save lives. It gives you that extra time to get out," said Corcoran.

Fire Prevention Week began Sunday and runs through October 12.

Several East Tennessee fire departments are hosting events this week open to the public, teaching fire safety.

The Pigeon Forge Fire Department is hosting an open house Monday, October 7 as part of Fire Prevention Week at 4 p.m.

To find out about Fire Prevention Week activities in your area, contact your local fire department.

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