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Fire Prevention Week Focuses On Kitchen Safety

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) October is Fire Prevention Month, but in Cedar Rapids, today is the start of Fire Prevention Week. This year, the focus is on kitchen fires.

"One of the key parts of our house is the kitchen, said Ely resident Scott Knies, who encourages his young daughters to cook with supervision. We're always in the kitchen."

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says thats where more than a quarter of the fires that its been called to this year have started.

"The number one reason is people leave the cooking food unattended, said Cedar Rapids Fire Department Public Information Officer Greg Buelow.

"If you have to step away, you have to shut that down, you have to be aware of it, said Knies.

Even when youre still in the kitchen, just being careful can save lives and property.

"A common mistake a lot of people will do is they'll leave the pot handle sticking outward and what  can happen is you get distracted you can bump it and get burned, said Buelow.

But the stovetop isnt the only place to be careful.

One of the goals of Fire Prevention Week is to keep you safe around your microwave. The Fire Department says many people take popcorn out and burn themselves on the steam inside.

Buelow says one of the best ways to keep your family safe is with smoke detectors.

"A lot of people think that a fire or smoke is going to wake you up and in fact, it's quite the opposite so you need that to alert you to wake up," said Buelow.

He says only about a third of the fires they respond to are in homes with functioning smoke alarms.

The Fire Department says having a fire extinguisher in your home can be helpful but only if youre trained how to use it. They say residents often make fires worse when an extinguisher is used too close to the flame and pushes the fire to another surface.
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