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Ottumwa Fire Department Celebrates Fire Prevention Week

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - As COVID-19 has shut many people indoors more than usual, household fires could be more of a risk.

And as this week is Fire Prevention Week, held by the National Fire Protection Association and celebrated by the Ottumwa Fire Department, Deputy Chief Cory Benge thought it would be a good time to give safety tips to Ottumwans, especially with this year’s theme - kitchen safety.

According to the Deputy Chief, kitchen fires are the number one cause of fires in the home: “Folks went grocery shopping, bring their groceries home, put them on the stovetop, inadvertently push a button and turn the stovetop on.”

Fires like the one in a Camelot Towers Apartment last month.

Benge continues, “I know with small children and things it’s easy to get sidetracked. With technology it’s easy to pick up your device and start scrolling. Be mindful of when you are cooking and try to keep your kitchen as safe as possible.”

But, of course, distractions in the kitchen aren’t the only cause of fires in the home. Deputy Chief Benge says other fire causes could be on the horizon.

“Now that we’re getting into the colder season, we’re going to see overloaded electrical circuits from space heaters being plugged in to insufficient electrical systems.”

Usually Fire Prevention Week is a large public event, where the Fire Department holds audiences while demonstrating fire safety, but due to COVID-19, they’re a bit more limited this year. However, they’re still doing their best to talk about fire safety.

For instance, Benge says the department is “taking fire prevention materials out ot the schools to have them hand out coloring books and those types of things. We’ve got several fire extinguisher demonstrations going on at different businesses and clinics,” as well as sharing tips on their Facebook page.

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