The BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund is challenging firemen and professional chefs to share kitchen fire prevention tips on social media leading up to Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 4 - 10).
The Fire Safety Challenge promotes this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme of Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen - a relevant topic given that BC families are spending more time cooking at home due to COVID-19.
Vancouver firefighters are seeing an increase in home fires started in the kitchen. Other cities like Toronto have reported increases as high as 17 percent due to cooking left unattended.
“Kitchen fires are preventable fires. Whether it's leaving a pot on the stove and forgetting about it or not knowing how to extinguish a grease fire, cooking fires are a leading cause of house fires. Be present when cooking. It could save a life,” says Gayanne Pacholzuk, Burn Fund Prevention Coordinator.
Last year, 851 fires in BC started from cooking, accounting for close to one third of all structure fires, as reported to the Office of the Fire Commissioner. As a result of these fires, 62 people were injured and $39 million worth of damage was caused.
The Burn Fund is launching the Fire Safety Challenge to increase the public’s awareness of fire prevention by offering helpful tips on safe cooking practices and instructions on what to do if a fire breaks out.
The posts will feature video tutorials, photos, and recipes with straightforward safety tips which will prevent cooking fires.
British Columbians are invited to demonstrate what they’ve learned from the professionals by sharing a post to social media and using the hashtag #FireSafetyChallenge.
A winner will be randomly selected and will have the rare opportunity to cook with a member of the Fire in Your Kitchen Team of skilled Vancouver Firefighter Chefs.
The Burn Fund has partnered with Vancouver Firefighters Charities to offer a one-on-one virtual cooking class with a member of the Fire in Your Kitchen Team, whose members include Red Seal Chefs, a Chopped Winner, and a Chef who has even cooked for an American President. A fire-themed prize package will also be included. The deadline for the contest is Oct. 31.