The Monona Fire Department reminds everyone to change their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. When the time changes for Daylight Savings this November, take a second to check your detectors.

Smoke detectors can lose their effectiveness over time. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke detectors should be changed every 10 years. According to First Alert, carbon monoxide detectors usually last from five to seven years, though they urge people to check their specific product’s recommendations.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “serving up fire safety in the kitchen.” According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cooking is the leading cause of unreported home fires.

United States fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,100 home structure fires per year started by cooking activities in 2012-2016. That equates to about 471 home cooking fires per day.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) offers safety tips for people when in the kitchen, including staying alert and watching what you’re heating. If you leave the kitchen, the NFPA urges you to turn off burners, while regularly checking all foods you are simmering, baking or roasting.

Using a timer can also remind you that you have food cooking.

To avoid clothing catching on fire, wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking, the NFPA says. Keep anything flammable, including your clothes, oven mitts, utensils and food packaging away from the stovetop and keep your stove clean.

If you have a small grease fire, the NFPA recommends smothering the flame and turning off the burner. To keep the fire from restarting, keep the lid on until the pan has cooled. The NFPA says not to pour water on a cooking pan grease fire or discharging a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire, as this could spread the fire.

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