Fire Prevention Week theme focuses on kitchen fires.

    The Crookston Fire Department will kick off Fire Prevention Week with an open house Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

    Traditionally popular activities like the ladder truck bucket rides and fire hose for kids to spray will return, and there will be refreshments and snacks for families, too, Fire Chief Tim Froeber said.

    Sparky the Fire Dog will be there, too.

    As usual, the open house could be of benefit to those who attend, in the form of door prizes that will be drawn. Families will be able to sign up for a free fire safety inspection of their home as well.

    Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12, and this year the focus is on preventing kitchen fires. Fires ignited by unattended cooking, Froeber said, are the leading cause of house fires, injuries and deaths in the United States. “Unattended cooking is the leading cause of house fires and the injuries and deaths in the United States,” said Froeber.

    Tip for avoiding kitchen fires or dealing with them when they occur include:
    • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking
    • If you're using oil to cook and it catches on fire, slide a cover over the fire and remove it from the heat. Do not put water on a grease fire.
    • If a fire occurs in a conventional oven or microwave oven, turn them off and unplug them, if you're able to do so safely.
    • In the event of a kitchen fire, keep doors to the kitchen shut to minimize the amount of oxygen getting to the flames.
    • If you're cooking with pans on the stove, keep the handles turned inward so the kids don't accidentally bump the handle when they walk by.
    • Keep paper towels and oven mitts away from the stove.