Oct 7, 2013 12:26 AM by Alex Labat
Alton Trahan with the Lafayette Fire Department says the leading cause of fires in the kitchen are from individuals leaving their pots and pans unattended.
"It's very easy to do. What we've found is that individuals either leave the room or leave the house with the stove on. They're either frying something or creating something on top of the stovetop, leave it unattended and the next thing you know there's a fire", says Trahan.
To prevent a fire from igniting in the kitchen, Trahan suggests moving flammables like paper towels and oven mitts away from the stove.
Trahan says, "It can easily ignite. And once it ignites it's going to catch the wooden cabinets, towels, rags, anything you have nearby on fire and by that time it's going to be too late."
Trahan also suggests moving children away from the stove, and creating a "kid-free zone" of about three feet from any open flame.
"Number one you actually want to make sure the pot handles are turned in so the kids accidentally don't knock over what's hot in the pot and then it burns them. But also, teach them fire safety measures. In other words have a fire escape plan, learn two ways out of the house, and also make sure mom and dad have a working smoke detector and that they test it once a month", says Trahan.
If a pan does ignite, don't panic just yet. Trahan says covering the flame might prevent it from spreading.
"Have a working fire extinguisher somewhere nearby just in case there's a small fire. And also have the lid. Believe it or not if you can grab the lid and put it on top of that pot it'll smother that fire out because it needs oxygen", says Trahan.
The Lafayette Fire Department will be holding workshops this week in honor of fire prevention week.
The department will meet with more than 4,000 students over the next five days.