CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday begins fire prevention week nationwide, where fire departments nationwide and locally are raising awareness on how to prevent home fires.

Fire prevention week comes every year, including October 9th as we transition to a new cold-weather lifestyle here in New England, and that brings with it some new seasonal risks for home fires.

This year’s fire prevention week theme follows right along. The theme is “Cooking safety starts with you – pay attention to fire prevention” The number-one leading cause of home fires and fire injuries is cooking, along with a few other seasonal risks, but kitchen fires are less about what or how you are cooking than you would think.

“The main cause I would say in home cooking fires is people not staying and monitoring their cooking, and always as we approach this colder time of year we tend to see things like candles and home heating become issues as well,” said Lt. Tony Spear of West Springfield Fire Department.

The top tips for preventing kitchen fires are to simply stay in the room when you have food on the stove and to stay in the home if you have food in the oven. Meanwhile, keep anything that can catch fire away from active burners, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Rule number one is if you do encounter a fire, call the fire department first. Lt. Spear added that often, fire injuries are caused by trying to put the fire out, rather than the fire itself.

Local News

Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.