Pasadena Fire Dept. Wants Kitchens Safer

Published : Sunday, October 6, 2013 | 4:44 AM

The Pasadena Fire Department kicked off Fire Prevention Week 2013 with lively demonstrations from the ambulance and fire engine crews as well as teaching kids how to use a fire extinguisher at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

The 2013 Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12. This year’s theme is “Prevent Kitchen Fires” to help spread the word that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire-related injuries. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen.

“Anytime we have an opportunity to tell people how to best safeguard themselves in the home environment were staying ahead of America’s fire problem,” Fire Chief Calvin Wells said.

Emergency Management Coordinator Lisa Derderian explained what might happen in a kitchen fire.

“Most people, what they’ll do if they have a kitchen fire is throw water on it which is the worse thing you could do because that spreads the fire, especially a grease fire,” Lisa Derderian said

Derderian continued giving instructions, “We want you to call 911 first, cover it, smother it, throw flour on it if readily available, get your family out. An ABCD fire extinguisher is all purpose and will work on kitchen fires too.”

Many people will buy fire extinguishers and not know how to use them. Make sure your fire extinguisher is not expired. Learn how to use it with the PASS method: Pull the safety pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the flames, Squeeze or press the handle to release the extinguishing agent, and Sweep from side to side until extinguished. Read the instructions for your model.

“We know that in this country where we lose people is where they sleep, in the home, kitchen hazards, mechanical equipment like heater failures,” Wells said.

The Fire Department Kids Safety Trailer simulates a kitchen to teach cooking safety as well as give the opportunity for demonstrations of teaching kids exactly what to do in a house fire situation.

In one of a demonstration at the event one kid could volunteer to be asleep in the bedroom and had to feel the door to see if it was hot. He had to jump out the window and run to the “neighbor’s” house to call 911.

The ladder truck, fire engines, rescue ambulances, fire extinguisher demonstrations and the Urban Search And Rescue vehicle gave kids a better idea of what the Fire Department does and helped them be able to approach firefighters.

“Sometimes kids get scared when they see firefighters coming in with all this gear, mask, helmet. We want them to meet, greet, and enjoy talking to the firefighters so they’re not scared and put a face with the profession,” Derderian said.

Every year since 1925, the President of the United States has signed a Proclamation to observe Fire Prevention Week with varying themes.

“Fire prevention goes to the very core of why we exist. As a country we have the worst fire loss per capita than anywhere else in the industrialized world. So anything we can do to make a difference and drive a dent in that track record we should do,” Wells said.

For further information please contact the Fire Department at (626) 744-4675.