National Burn Awareness Week is February 6 – 12, 2022

(North Cowichan, BC) – Cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire injuries, and this week is dedicated to increasing awareness in our communities about the importance of cooking and BBQing safely.

The theme for 2022’s Burn Awareness Week is burning issues in the kitchen, as cooking equipment is the third-leading cause of structure fires in British Columbia. In 2021, 690 fires were caused by cooking equipment and three people died from these fires, the highest number in the last ten years. 31 people were injured, and there was $56,684,290 in damage (contents and property loss).

“Fire-caused deaths in BC are on the rise, and most of these deaths and injuries caused by fire occur in people’s private homes,” said Martin Drakeley, Fire Chief for the North Cowichan Fire Department. “Many of the cooking equipment-related fires in BC last year were caused by people being distracted or preoccupied. By sharing these statistics, and by educating people on safe kitchen and cooking practices, our goal is to see these numbers turn around and trend downwards.”

Cooking Tips:

  • A leading cause of home fires is unattended cooking - stay in the kitchen!
  • Have a “kid and pet free zone” of one metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.
  • Watch what you are cooking. Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  • Make sure you are awake and alert while cooking. Alcohol and some drugs can make you sleepy.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so no one can bump them or pull them over.
  • Keep things that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, away from the stove.

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Media Contact:         
Greg McCrea
Captain, Fire Prevention
North Cowichan Fire Department