Fire Prevention Week

Fire prevention week is October 8 -14 this year and the theme is "Cooking Safety Starts With You".

Don't get cooking fish confused with fish smell.

Fish Smell Can Mean Electrical Fire

  • Fishy Smell: Instead of burning plastic, many people say an electrical fire emits a fishy scent. This typically means it has just started. The fish odor is caused by electrical components overheating that haven’t begun to burn up. Their heat-resistant chemical coatings can also release a fishy odor when burned.
Oak Bluffs
Oak Bluffs

Cooking fires are the number one cause of Massachusetts home fires, but what about electrical fires? The following is really important to know...

You probably don’t think, “electrical issue” when you smell fish. But you should. If no one has cooked fish recently and you notice a fishy smell, it could be an indicator of an electrical emergency.

I know it may feel uncomfortable, especially if you have young children in the next room, but you're always supposed to sleep with bedroom doors CLOSED to prevent a fire from spreading.

Cooking Fires

Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires in Massachusetts.


Following are cooking safety messages that support this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention”:

  • Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking. For foods with longer cook times, such as those that are simmering or baking, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.
  • Clear the cooking area of combustible items and keep anything that can burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
  • Create a “kid and pet free zone” of at least three feet (one meter) around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

Today’s homes burn much faster than they did decades ago. You could have two minutes or less to safely escape a fire at home after the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from working smoke alarms and a practiced home escape plan.

Every home is different, and every home fire escape plan will also be different. To create your plan, start with a diagram of your home and think about two ways out of every room (remember that one way out may be a window). Be sure your routes aren't blocked by furniture or other objects, and be sure the doors and windows open easily. Pick a family meeting place outside out front that's a safe distance from the home.

I can say with certainty that most, if not all of us, know what smoke smells like and that that means fire!

For more information on Fire Prevention Week go here.

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