Transwiki:Wikiversity-School of Fire and Emergency Management/Unattended Cooking and Teenagers Project Initiative

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Unattended Cooking and Teenagers Project Initiative[edit | edit source]

Based on the summation given the target behavior is Unattended Cooking and the group would be teenagers. These Unattended Cooking fires are happening between the hours of 1500 and 1800 involving teenagers in the home.

The unchangeable condition is teenagers being unsupervised between 1500 and 1880 hours, while many parents are still at work or commuting. The commuting is usually by choice as families move out of the cities to escape crime or find more affordable housing. The changeable behavior is Unattended Cooking by teenagers. With an Informational Safety Program directed towards teenagers, hopefully the will modify or decrease the unwanted behavior. Another behavior change goal is to introduce teenagers, and all cooks, to a solution to the Unattended Cooking Fire problem. A patented automatic shut-off device, TimeOff, could prevent more than 90% of unattended cooking fires, if installed on all cooking ranges. Details, including contact information to order TimeOff from range manufacturers, can be found at:

(I) According to NFPA publications, Cooking fires are the # 1 cause of home fires and injuries, Most Cooking equipment fires start with the common ignition of household items (e.g., food or grease, cabinets, wall covering, paper or plastic bags, etc.). Also according Fact and Figures maintained by NFPA, the “trends” have been increasing as follows:

·In 2001, there were 117,100 reported home structure fires caused by Cooking equipment, thus resulting in 370 deaths, 4,290 injuries and caused $453.000 million dollars in property damage.

·The leading cause in Unattended Cooking in the home.

·Three out of ten reported home fires are in the kitchen. This is the most common place more than any other place.

·Two of three kitchen fires start with the range or oven.

·Electric ranges or stoves have a higher risk of fires, injuries and property damage, relative to usage, than gas oven or ranges.

·Gas ranges or stove have higher risk of death vs. electric stoves.

(II)According to research by the National Safety Council the following “trends” have occurred:

·Unattended Cooking remains the leading cause of home fires in the United States.

·There were 50,000 fires occurring each year in kitchen ovens and ranges.

·Nearly 75 % percent of reported homes fires, originated in the kitchen, and the person responsible was not in the immediate area.

·Nearly 30 % percent of al reported home fires started in the kitchen, and of those, the most frequent was the range-top.

(III)According to research of local and surrounding Fire District (Fort Lewis) of AnyTown Fire District there were 46 fires in the home. This varied from malfunction/misuse of electrical devices, building fires, structure fires other than building (candles etc.,) Cooking fires confined to original container (pot/pan), Coking fires with fire extension to cabinets and/or overhead hood systems, and general trash/ rubbish in the homes.

·16 fires were contributed to malfunction/misuse of electrical devices.

·2 fires were contributed to fires other in a structure or outside.

·15 fires were Unattended Cooking, confined to original container.

·5 fires were Unattended Cooking fire with fire extension to kitchen, cabinets and overhead hood systems.

·2 fires were contributed to general trash or rubbish confined to container.

Teenager Awareness Program[edit | edit source]

The Informational Awareness program related to Unattended Cooking fires involving Teenagers shall be given to all 6th – 8th graders during the month of October after Fire Prevention Week programs. This will be scheduled as a general School assembly in the gymnasium or auditorium during school hours. The students will be scheduled for a period of approximately 30 minutes of lecture and demonstration related to Safe Cooking practices by classroom. The Informational Awareness program will be scheduled daily with intervals through out the day until all 6th and 8th graders have attended the program.

(I)The movie will show how fast a fire can spread:

·Underwriter Laboratory – Fire safety Video named “The Living Room Fire”. Purchase price $105.00

·The video shows the ferocity of a single match that spread throughout a common lining room setting. The setting has common videotapes, CD’s and children’s’ toys which the fire is shown in real time with a running caption describing the events taking place.

(II)The demonstration will show safe practices for covering fires and show good cooking practices:

·Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid or larger pan/cookie sheet handy. In case a small fire start in a pan on the stove, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pot/pan. Then turn off the burner. Call the Fire Dept to make sure the fire has not spread beyond the stovetop.

·Antidote: A person was cooking dinner and turned away for a few moments. He/she looked back, the pan was in flames. She put the fire out. The family dinner was ruined so they went out to dinner. When they returned home the street was filled with Fire trucks in front of their house.

About 20 minutes after leaving a neighbor had spotted their roof on fire.

It was determined the flames from the pan had extended into exhaust vent and subsequently ignited the roof.

  • Demand that your applliance store carry ranges equipped with the proper automatic TimeOff devices to prevent unattended cooking fires. Contact manufacturers to demand this also. Contact details at:

·Never pour water onto a grease fire or spray fire extinguisher agent directly onto a pan, thus can cause overspray and spread the fire.

·Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and stay in the area while cooking. (Move phone, stereo’s, and may place small TV in kitchen).

·If you must answer the door etc., turn off the range and take a timer or oven mitt to remind you that something is still cooking.

·Keep the cooking area clean of debris (rags, food packaging, towels, etc.).

·Do not wear loose fitting clothing while cooking, roll up sleeves and/or wear tight fitting clothing.

·Never use a WET oven mitt, thus can cause scalding to hand and fingers.

·If there is an OVEN fire keep the oven door closed and shut of the heat to prevent flames spread. Call the Fire Dept to make sure the fire has not spread beyond the oven.

·If there is a microwave fires, keep the microwave door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the Fire Dept to make sure the fire has not spread beyond the microwave.

·Food cooked in the microwave can be extremely hot, use pot holder or place items on larger plate.

References: National Fire Protection Association National Safety Council Underwriter’s Laboratory – Fire Safety programs Local Fire District, Firehouse query of Home fires (Fort Lewis)