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Practice fire prevention tips
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This year Fire Prevention Week is recognized Oct. 6-12. Firefighters across the United States always strive to prevent and reduce injuries and deaths related to fires. This week is dedicated to the public awareness involving fire safety.
United States Fire Administration statistics show the leading cause of residential building fires and fire injuries are from cooking.
McMinnville Firefighters Association would like to share some safety tips recommended by the U.S. Fire Administration.
• Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
• Follow manufacturers' instructions and code requirements when installing and operating cooking equipment.
• Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance – it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
• Never leave a barbecue grill unattended.
• Place the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Don’t use or store on a porch or balcony.
• Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
• Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
• Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
• Use only outdoors! If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, barbecue grills pose both a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to carbon monoxide.
• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
• Dispose of charcoal coals only after they are cool. Empty the coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals. Place the container away from anything that can burn. Never empty coals directly into a trash can.

If you determined your grill has a gas leak by smell or the soapy bubble test and there is no flame:
• Turn off the propane tank and grill.
• If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
• If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
• If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
• Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.
• Light a propane grill only with the cover open.
• The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.
• Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
• Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burners.