EDMOND — Two bright, juicy green and red peppers, five cloves of garlic and one perfectly round white onion were sliced and diced with ease as fire Battalion Capt. Doug Hall started to make a batch of secret Firehouse Chili.
Two types of fresh beef surrounded by a variety of different kinds of spices waited on the counter as Hall and firefighter Lindall Wood let the secret recipe out of the firehouse in an effort to talk about kitchen fires.
Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or cooking materials.
The two Edmond firefighters are the stars of a firehouse cooking show with a twist of safety.
Kitchen fires is the theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week, which starts Sunday.
The firehouse chili recipe has been around for years and has changed a little over time.
Sometimes it has a hotter bite to it.
“You can't beat it,” Wood said.
The cooking show — which Hall and Wood said was their first and their last — can be seen on Cox channel 20 and AT&T U-verse TV channel 99 or online at www.edmondok.com starting Oct. 6.
In 2011, kitchen fires were responsible for 44 percent of all reported home fires, 470 deaths, 5,390 injuries and more than $1 billion in property damages, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
“Cooking is one of the biggest issues,” said Mike Barnes, chief of prevention.
“People go to the door and forget. Cooking oil, we don't recommend ever leaving.”
Barnes suggested carrying a pot holder to answer the door as a reminder that something is on the stove.
Don't forget cellphones have timers, he said.
“Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires,” Barnes said.
“Keep an eye on what you fry.”
Officials recommend staying in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food.
If the cook must leave the kitchen, even for a short time, it is recommended that the stove or oven is turned off.
Edmond had 54 structure fires last year.
Barnes said he doesn't know how many started in the kitchen.
He complimented Edmond residents for doing a good job with fire safety and wanted to remind people that the fire department is just seconds away with a call to 911.
“Be ready to react fast to a cooking fire,” Barnes said.
“When in doubt, just get out.”
One suggestion is if a small grease fire starts, slide a lid over the pan, turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
For an oven or microwave fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Edmond has five fire stations and the firefighters work 24-hour shifts. They cook and eat many of their meals, especially chili when the weather gets cooler and football games are playing, Hall said.