BATAVIA — “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” is what the National Fire Protection Association — and the City of Batavia Fire Department — are asking people to do, especially this month.
In proclaiming October Fire Prevention Month in the city, the City Council Tuesday gave the department recognition for its efforts.
‘Batavia’s first responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home-fire injuries, and prevention and protection education. Batavia’s residents are responsive to public education measures and are able to take personal steps to increase their safety from fire, especially in their homes, Councilwoman Kathy Briggs said in reading the proclamation at the last Council meeting.
Home fires killed more than 2,630 people in the United States in 2017, the National Fire Protection Association said. Fire departments in the United States responded to 357,000 home fires.
“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States and fire departments responded to more than 173,200 annually between 2013 and 2017,” Briggs read. “Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen, with 31 percent of them resulting from unattended cooking. More than half of the reported non-fatal, home-cooking fire injuries occur when the victims try to fight the fire themselves.”
“Batavia’s residents should stay in the kitchen when frying food on a stove top. Keep a 3-foot, kid-free zone around cooking areas and keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove tops,” she read. “Residents who have planned and practiced a home-fire escape plan are more prepared, and will therefore be more likely to survive a fire. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.”
Briggs said she urges all the people in Batavia to participate by checking their kitchens for fire hazards, using safe cooking practices during Fire Prevention Month 2020 and supporting city firefighters’ public safety activities. She then presented the proclamation to Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano.
Napolitano said, “We appreciate the opportunity to serve our city. I’m extremely proud of every man and woman in our department. It is not just a job. It’s a passion. They do it with the utmost respect and urgency. We appreciate the opportunity to be acknowledged and to help spread our message for Fire Prevention Month.”