Local experts stress basic safety, awareness during Fire Prevention Week

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Fire prevention week is underway, offering reminders for people to help prevent devastation. 

Look, listen, learn is this year’s theme, which coincides with the anniversary of the great Chicago fire. 

Fire departments want to share the message that simple reminders can go a long way. Since most fires are accidental, local fire officials believe it’s a good time to check on the basics and apply the knowledge year round. 

“Check our smoke alarms,” said Henrico Fire’s Rob Rowley. “Make sure we empty the lint trap on our dryer, to take a second and discuss with the family what is our escape plan.”

Over the last week in Central Virginia, there have been fires started by an outside grill and another from an electrical box. These are just some of the areas in your home that can cause issues.

“About 45 percent of all fires in Chesterfield County are related to cooking,” said Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesperson Jason Elmore. “So, we want to make sure people are paying attention in the kitchen. Making sure they stay near the stove while they’re cooking.” 

Many of these safety concerns simply come from having busy lives. People get distracted, either by the phone or people inside the house, which could sometimes lead to fires. 

There is something you can buy to help ease your mind. 

“It’s these stovetop fire stops,” Rowley told 8News. “They’re simply devices that mount under the hood and hang above the stove. and when a fire happens on the stove these devices open up and discharge a fire extinguishing chemical onto the stove.”

People are also encouraged to go check out their local fire stations for more information and also the chance to meet your local firefighters. 

Fire prevention week ends on Saturday. 

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