Cooking fires a real hazard

Sometime ago, a man came home from fishing all day. When he arrived home, it was late in the evening.
He unloaded his fishing gear and went into the house. No one else was home.
He was tired and hungry, and proceeded to boil some hotdogs. While the hotdogs cooked, he went into the living room to watch television.
But he fell asleep, and what do you think happened next? He woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm ringing in the living room.
In the end, he was alive and a little embarrassed. However, he was thankful that he had a working smoke alarm, which he was able to hear.
Another time, a man came home late in the evening. No one else was home at the time.
He was tired and hungry, and proceeded to cook something on the stove. While the food cooked, he went into the living room.
He also fell asleep! And what do you think happened next?
I woke up to the sound of my fire pager ringing after midnight, with the dispatcher announcing to respond to a house fire.
In the end, the man was dead—and his death affected all of his loved ones.
According to Fire Prevention Canada, 2001 statistics show a total of 55,323 fires reported, with 337 fire deaths, 2,310 fire injuries, and a total of $1,420,779,985 in property losses.
Residential property accounts for the largest number of fires with 21,494 fires (39 percent) of the Canadian total. However, residential fires also account for 73 percent of our nation’s fire fatalities.
Cooking continues to be the number-one cause of home fires. Cooking oil and grease fires are the major cause of residential fires in Canada.
Prevent cooking fires. “Watch what you heat” is this year’s fire prevention theme in Canada and the United States.
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Safety—it starts with you!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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