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Lawrence Beal, a fire inspector with the Miramar Fire Department, demonstrates how to properly put out a stove fire outside the Marine Corps Exchange aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Oct. 8. The fire department is focusing on kitchen fires for this year’s Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-11.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael B. Thorn

Fight fire with prevention

9 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Michael B. Thorn

Those visiting the Marine Corps Exchange this week may come across something out of the ordinary – a burning stove. This smoking kitchen appliance is not meant to alarm customers. The fiery display is part of Fire Prevention Week, hosted by the Miramar Fire Department.

The Fire Prevention Week commemorates The Great Chicago Fire from Oct. 7-11. This great fire started when a farmhouse erupted in flames, causing a massive fire to break out in the city that lasted for almost a week.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there’s an average of 164,500 fires in residential areas each year in the United States that usually originated in the kitchen. This year, the fire department dealt with two fires caused by accidents in a kitchen, pushing fire inspectors to educate others on fire prevention specifically in kitchens.

Our focus this week is also on how to properly put out a stove fire,” said Yvonne Brown, a fire inspector with the Miramar Fire Department. “A lot of people don’t know how to properly put one out, and can actually make it worse.”

Brown said many people tend to try smothering stove fires with water or powders such as flour, which can actually strengthen the fire.

"If a pan is on fire, all you have to do is cover it with something like a pot to smother it,” said Lawrence Beal, a fire inspector with the Miramar Fire Department who demonstrated how to put out stove fires. “After smothering the fire, move the pan to another part of the stove that is off.”

The Miramar Fire Department encourages Marines and civilians to come out and learn more about fire prevention.
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing