It’s Fire Prevention Week


By WVUA 23 News Reporter Lacey Beasley

This week is fire prevention week, and Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue is using this time to educate people on how to minimize risk and handle stove fires.

Patrick Stines, fire marshall for the Tuscaloosa Fire Department, said the kitchen is the source for the majority of home fires.

However, cooking with grease and oil isn’t the most dangerous part… walking away is.

“From having to tend to things going on in their household, somebody getting a phone call, somebody wanting to leave the home and they forgot some items at the grocery store, so they want to come up and go real quick and run back and before they get back a fire has started on their stovetop,” said Stines.

Contrary to popular belief, Stines said the biggest mistake people make is dumping water on the fire.

“That is an absolute no no when dealing with these types of fires because all it’s going to do is erupt into a fireball and increase the risk of fire spread and injury to you,” said Stines.

He advises people to use a fire extinguisher instead. If you don’t have one available, grab a mitt and a lid and quickly slide it over the pan.

As a part of fire prevention week in past years, firefighters visited schools to teach students fire safety.

Events will be virtual this year.

“We always want to educate the students and the children because they take that information home to their parents, and even if their parents aren’t in the kitchen, older students that are I middle school, high school, they’re going to want to be in the kitchen and cooking, so they can take these tips home with them as well,” said Holly Whigham, fire and life safety director.

Stines said to always clear off counter tops before cooking, and above all, evacuate the house if a fire is uncontrollable.

“When in doubt, we want you to get out,” said Stines. “Get out of the house, close the door behind you, and call 911.”

For Tuscaloosa residents, call 311 for a free fire alarm inspection or installation.

Categories: Local News