WINSTON-SALEM - Kitchen fires are the focus of this year's National Fire Prevention week, as local fire departments attempt to raise public awareness about the leading area of origin for home structure fires and civilian home fire injuries.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the U.S. every 23 seconds. Many of those fires, according to Winston-Salem deputy fire marshal Norman Mitchell, start up in the kitchen. Marshal said Winston-Salem has seen a recent prevalence of kitchen fires. A FEMA study suggested that the kitchen fire increase is a direct result of Winston-Salem's lack of a stove top suppressor program--something Marshal said the department is working on implementing.
Stove top suppressors are small devices that are attached to stove tops and dispel fire-extinguishing powder when ignited. Marshal said he recommends people purchase two suppressors, as they function most effectively when one is above each row of burners.
Suppressors cost approximately $50 per pair and are not yet sold in all home department stores. Marshal said people who wish to purchase the devices can do so through the Louisville Fire & Safety website. Customers can use the coupon code WSFD to receive 10 percent off.
The Winston-Salem Fire Department has set up a stove top suppressor demonstration, as well as kid-friendly fire safety activities at the Dixie Classic Fair. Youth also can go inside the fire trailer and receive hands-on education about fire alarms, calling 911 and two ways to safely exit a fire.
According to NFPA, in 2012, public fire departments respond to 1,375,500 fires. Fires caused 2,855 civilian deaths and 16,500 injuries.
WFMY News 2