Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Layton — Seven people die in home fires in the U.S. every day on average, and cooking is the leading cause. The disasters prompted "prevent kitchen fires" as the focus of fire prevention week nationwide, and the Kendall O. Bryant Fire Prevention Awareness Day in Layton.
Bryant was a Layton firefighter who died 13 years ago searching for victims in a house fire. Every year they dedicate a day to him because he cared about teaching kids about fire prevention.
Families gathered Wednesday evening at the fire station named after Bryant to witness demonstrations on fire safety in the kitchen, get a ride on a fire truck, and see demonstrations with the jaws of life.
Every seven seconds, a house fire erupts in the U. S.
"A common cause is unattended cooking," said Doug Bitton, a public information officer with the Layton City Fire Department. "They go off somewhere in the house, or to a neighbors, or to run an errand, and think things will be okay, and come back with devastating results."
Two out of every five house fires start in the kitchen. One-third of those are the result of unattended cooking. Grease and oil fires are the most dangerous. Bitton said to never throw water on a grease or oil fire.
Firefighters put on a demonstration for kids and their parents. A stove in a mock kitchen erupted in flames when a firefighter threw water on the grease fire.
- Always turn off the stove when leaving home
- Have a lid to cover the pan if a fire starts
- Keep the handle of the pan turned inward to avoid accidental tips
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
"Remember, this could be your kitchen," Bitton said as flames burned near the ceiling. "In your kitchen, your stove is surrounded by cabinets, other flammables, and even your kids?"
Grease vaporizes at its boiling point, Bitton said.
"The molecules in those vapors are very angry about how hot it is. So, it comes to a point where there is so much friction, it self combusts. A very violent, violent devastating effect can occur," he said.
A grease fire doesn't always need a flame source to start it — just large amounts of heat. Firefighters advised homeowners to always turn off the stove when leaving home and to have a lid to cover the pan if a fire starts.
Firefighters also gave the tip of keep the handle of the pan turned inward to avoid accidental tips, as well as having a fire extinguisher nearby.
"Cover it, don't disturb it, it should go out because there's no oxygen," Bitton said.