Fire prevention efforts in Iowa have COVID-19 angle this year

(West Des Moines, IA) -- This year's theme for fire prevention week is kitchen fires. West Des Moines Fire Marshall Mike Whitsell says such fires are common and can start very simply but can spread quickly because of grease and grime build-up near the stove.

Whitsell says because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are cooking at home, which raises the risk for fires. He reminds homeowners to never leave cooking food unattended. He also reminds cooks that regular cleaning of the oven can prevent a disaster. Whitsell says if there's a fire in a frying pan, cover the pan with a lid, shut off the heat source, and try to move it to a cold burner, but do not put water on it. He says if you can't do so safely, leave and call 911 because fires can double in size in just 60-seconds.

He also stresses families have a fire evacuation plan. He says this is especially important because many kids are doing remote learning because of the pandemic.

Whitsell says kitchen fires are the most common house fires. The second leading cause of fires is unattended smoking materials, including discarded cigarette butts.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content