Oklahoma City safety experts offer tips to prevent house fires

Cooler temperatures bring more fire danger at home, experts say. Distracted cooking is the No. 1 cause of house fires in Oklahoma City.
by Juliana Keeping Published: October 15, 2012
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You likely have heard about the dangers of texting while driving.

But texting while cooking bacon?

Distracted cooking has become a problem, and one expected to increase with cooler temperatures and the holidays, Oklahoma City fire officials said.

Cooking has been the No. 1 cause of house fires in Oklahoma City in recent years, with nearly one-third of all fires started at the stove.

Battalion Chief Tim Adams, who presides over the public education of the Oklahoma City Fire Department, attributes at least some of the problem to the bevy of electronic devices that have permeated our lives.

“Cellphones, wireless, TVs in most every room, that just adds to it. Distracted behavior around heating devices are some of our biggest issues,” Adams said.

Home is the place most people feel the safest, but the sense of security is false when it comes to fire.

“The home is one of the most dangerous places for deaths and injuries,” Adams said. “We get comfortable, relaxed and distracted. We lose sight of the importance of what we're doing, especially when it comes to dealing with fire.”

He offered tips to make a home safer as the cooler weather approaches.

Cooking

In addition to limiting distractions while using the stove, a few key things will keep the kitchen safer from fire danger.

Vent hoods over the oven should be cleaned every 30 days, Adams said. It's possible that a fire put out on the stove could spark a secondary blaze in the vent hood.

Precautions should be taken after the fire is out.

After people put out a fire in a pan, they often carry the pan outside or to the sink, Adams said.

“We get a lot of burn injuries that way.”

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by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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