NFPA releases mitigation of cooking fires report

The National Fire Protection Assn. last month announced the completion of a report and accompanying educational tools on behavioral mitigation of cooking fires: “Behavioral Mitigation of Cooking Fires Through Strategies Based on Statistical Analysis.”


The National Fire Protection Assn. (NFPA) last month announced the completion of a report and accompanying educational tools on behavioral mitigation of cooking fires. The report, “Behavioral Mitigation of Cooking Fires Through Strategies Based on Statistical Analysis,” and accompanying educational videos and presentation are the result of an NFPA partnership with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to develop sound research-based recommendations for behavioral mitigation strategies to reduce cooking fires in the United States and the resulting injuries and deaths.
"Protecting people from fires and preventing fires are central to NFPA’s mission," said James M. Shannon, NFPA president and CEO. "We were especially pleased to partner with USFA on this project because cooking fires wreak havoc on thousands of lives each year—they are the leading cause of fires in the home. What has been learned through this project will further strengthen NFPA’s efforts to minimize cooking fires."
Unattended cooking is the single leading factor contributing to cooking fires. According to the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System data from 1999 to 2003, cooking equipment had been left unattended in 37% of the reported home cooking equipment fires overall and was a factor in 45% of the deep fryer fires and 43% of the range fires.
In addition, unattended equipment was a factor in 42% of the cooking fire deaths and 44% of the injuries. Some type of combustible material too close to the cooking equipment was a factor in 13% of home cooking fires, 24% of the associated deaths, and 12% of the associated injuries, making heat source too close to combustibles the second leading factor contributing to ignition for home cooking fires, after unattended equipment.
Finally, 55% of the people injured in U.S. home cooking fires were injured when they tried to fight the fire themselves.
The project recommends educational messages for safe home cooking that address several behaviors including: staying alert and watching what you are cooking, keeping things that can catch fire apart from heat sources, knowing what to do if you have a cooking fire and your clothes catch fire, properly installing and using cooking equipment, preventing and treating scalds and burns, and having working smoke alarms.

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