WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton Fire Department is cautioning residents to be safe in their kitchens.
With Monday kicking off National Fire Prevention Week, the Wilton Fire Department is focusing on this year's theme of preventing kitchen fires, according to a press release. Fire department representatives said the kitchen is the No. 1 place where home fires start and that in 2011, "fires starting in the kitchen accounted for 156,300 home fires," according to the release.
"If you have a kitchen fire, you must react quickly," fire department representatives said in the release. "Many people underestimate how long it takes for a fire to spread throughout the home. Within minutes, a small stove fire can fill the home with smoke and spread to other rooms, blocking escape routes. The number one thing to remember is 'when in doubt, get out.' "
Once out of the house, fire department representatives recommended residents call 911 even if a fire extinguisher is being used, according to the release.
"A grease fire can be extinguished by sliding the lid over the pan," department representatives said in the release. "Turn off the burner and leave the pan to cool. Never use water on a grease fire or try to move the pan. For an oven or microwave fire, leave the door closed, and turn off the appliance."
The department also is reminding residents to "stop, drop and roll" if they find their clothes have ignited, according to the release.
"The good news is that most kitchen fire are preventable," representatives said in the release. "The number-one cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. So, here's what you can do. When frying, grilling, or broiling, stay in the kitchen. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the heat. If simmering, roasting, or boiling, don't leave home and check or you food periodically. Use a timer as a reminder. If you must leave home for any reason, turn off the heat."
For more information and tips, residents are asked to contact the Wilton Fire Department at (203) 834-6249.