Keep a lid on kitchen fires

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Graham
  • 4th Civil Engineer Squadron
Kitchen fires are on the rise, but can they be stopped?

Carelessness while cooking is the number one cause of fires in the nation, in the Air Force and at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. In fact, two-thirds of kitchen fires are started with food or other cooking materials. Things like waffles left in the toaster while getting the kids ready for school, that new recipe you were just itching to try out or the midnight munchies you get while sleepwalking can all be factors.

There is still hope! This year, Fire Prevention Week is all about kitchen fire deterrence, giving you all the safety tips used to stop those pesky kitchen meltdowns right in their tracks.

Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. A two-day blaze that burned approximately 17,000 buildings killed more than 250 people and left roughly 100,000 more homeless. A cow allegedly kicked over a lamp in a barn, but the evidence has found this theory inconclusive. Without the supposed mischievous cow, we wouldn't have the National Fire Protection Association we have today, sponsoring the nationwide Fire Prevention Week to express the importance of fire safety education.

In my opinion, Fire Prevention Week means more than just fun and games for kids. It is the one time of year we as firefighters are given an entire week to go out in our communities and teach fire safety. The week lets us show our capabilities as their fire department and pass on the knowledge needed to prevent a fire-related incident from happening. It also gives members of the fire department a chance to interact with kids, show them what to look for as signs of a fire and what to expect firefighters to look like, so children will not be afraid and everyone can leave the incident safely. Let's not forget the fun and games, like our fire prevention puppet show, are pretty awesome too.

I am proud to be a member of the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base community and get a chance to help. I want my neighbors to know they're safe because the best fire department out there is watching over them.

Firefighters of the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron will host several events throughout the week including a fire station visit for children Oct. 9 at 9:30 a.m., fire prevention demonstrations in the commissary parking lot Oct. 11 at 1:30 p.m. and a parade on base Oct. 12 beginning at 10 a.m.

For more information about Fire Prevention week festivities, or answers to questions related to fire prevention, contact 4th CES firefighters at