State Fire Marshal encourages safety in the kitchen during ‘Fire Prevention Week’

According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), in 2019 Illinois Fire Departments responded to 6,437 fires that were either caused by cooking, originated in the kitchen, or both. (Twitter/Office of Illinois State Fire Marshal)


By Neil Doyle

SPRINGFIELD – It’s Fire Prevention Week in Illinois and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding residents about safety in the kitchen.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen.

“Cooking fires can grow quickly but are also preventable. Stay in the kitchen, set a reminder or timer, avoid using electronics or getting distracted by your favorite TV show. Set up a three-foot kid free zone around the stove or oven and keep anything that can catch fire away from stove tops,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.

This year’s theme is, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

Some tips:

• Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

Neil Doyle can be reached at


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