"Prevent Kitchen Fires" -- that's the theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week, which runs October 6th through 12th. 

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office has joined forces with nonprofit National Fire Protection Association for the event.  And they're spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires, most of which result from unattended cooking, and teaching local residents how to prevent these fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires.  Two out of every five house fires begin in the kitchen, more than any other place in the home.  Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

"Often when our firefighters are called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell them that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," says State Fire Marshal Butch Browning.  "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start.  We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."

Here are some of the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:

Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.

If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

When you're simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly.  Stay in the home and use a timer to remind you.

If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible.  Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.

When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plasic bags, towels and anything else that can burn away from your stovetop.

Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the state, and is the longest-running public health and safety observance on record.

We'll have more FPW stories coming soon.

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