By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Think your kitchen is the safest place in your home? Think again.
Oct. 6-12 is this year’s national Fire Prevention Week, and the Ottumwa Fire Department is doing its part to help share this year’s theme: Prevent Kitchen Fires.
The National Fire Protection Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating about hazards that may cause fires, first dedicated Fire Prevention Week in 1922 as a way to memorialize those affected by the Chicago Fire of Oct. 8-9, 1871. Each year since its inauguration by President Woodrow Wilson, the week in which Oct. 9 falls has been held as Fire Prevention Week, and each year there is a new theme that has to do with fire safety and prevention.
Fire departments around the country, including the Ottumwa Fire Department, do their best to educate community members about fire safety related to the theme. This year, the department is sharing informative press releases to help make people aware of the dangers their kitchen holds.
They are teaching that members of the community make sure their stoves are working right, how to place pans properly on stove tops, knowing what should or shouldn’t be put in an oven and other important items that need to be shared.
“We want everyone to be aware of the hazards in their kitchens,” said Deputy Fire Chief Cory Benge.
Several firefighters will also be going around to the local preschools to give presentations about what children should know about fire safety and prevention. They will also be giving tours of the fire station whenever firemen are available.
To learn more about how you can prevent kitchen and other fires, contact the Ottumwa Fire Department at 641-683-0666.
— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh