By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon firefighters are asking residents to stay alert and use caution while cooking to reduce the risk of kitchen fires.
It’s all part of a month-long fire safety campaign.
Mayor Shelli Selby, at the Oct. 3rd city council meeting, proclaimed October as “National Fire Prevention Month” in the city of Yukon.
This year’s theme is “Cooking Safely Starts with You: Pay Attention to Fire Prevention.”
Yukon firefighters are visiting schools across the community to share fire safety tips with about 1,400 students, according to Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt.
“They’ll talk about cooking safety,” Vogt said. “These guys do fire prevention talks and public safety talks all year-round.
“October is our busy month; we’ll visit all the schools.”
Yukon firefighters really enjoy getting out and interacting with the kids, according to Chief Vogt.
“It’s a good way for them to give back to their community,” he added. “We really appreciate the support we get from our community, our city leaders and our council.”
The Yukon Fire Department also provides “static” displays for local businesses’ first responder days.
Fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk from fire, according to Yukon’s Fire Prevention Month proclamation.
COOKING LEADING CAUSE
Mayor Selby shared statistics with the audience during the recent city council meeting:
- Home fires killed more than 2,800 people in the United States in 2021, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. – and fire departments responded to more than 166,400 annually between 2016-20.
- Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen with 31% resulting from unattended cooking.
- More than half of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occur when victims try to fight the fire themselves.
As such, Yukon residents are advised to turn pot handles to the back of the stove, always keep a lid nearby when cooking, keep a three-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove and oven, and “watch what they heat”.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires almost in half, YFD officials said.
In presenting the Fire Prevention Month proclamation, Mayor Selby urged Yukon residents to thank a first responder for “keeping our community safe.”
“We appreciate you guys,” Selby told YFD personnel at the council meeting.