Yuma, Arizona - U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-2011, resulting in 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct damage.

Just this week alone we have had two fires in homes that were cooking fires (and another last week!). In one case the damage to the house was significant enough that the home could not be reoccupied until after repairs could be made. Fortunately, there were no injuries involving these fires, but they do serve as reminders to “Watch what you Heat” and never leave stove top cooking unattended.

So, never leave things cooking on the stove unattended, keep clutter away from cooking surfaces, wear clothing without loose dangling sleeves, have a “Kid Free Zone” of at least 3 feet from cooking surfaces and always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to prevent children from grabbing handles and spilling hot stuff onto themselves

Don’t forget Saturday October 15th from 9 am until noon there will be a Fire Prevention Week Open House at the Public Safety Training Facility, 3575 S. Avenue 4E. Free Admission, displays, demonstrations, refreshments. Come meet your Yuma Fire Department! For more information, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at (928) 373-4855.