Minnesota fire investigators: multi-tasking and cooking don’t mix


By LisaMarie Sinatra

In a recent article from Minnesota, a state fire marshal reminds residents to “look while you cook.” According to the report, last year Minnesota set a record for the number of cooking fires, which sadly killed six people. What I liked about this article, however, was this emphasis on the idea that it only takes seconds for a disaster to happen in the kitchen. Here’s a line from the article that really caught my eye and made me think:

“In a culture that is obsessed with multi-tasking, it can be tempting to check an email or watch a funny video on Facebook while the pan is heating up — but victims will tell you it’s not worth it.”

How many times have you stepped away from the stove to check your phone, or thought, I’ll just jump in the shower for a “quick second,” while preparing a meal? As gadgets demand more of our daily attention, the article says that fire safety experts now fear the number of cooking fires could drastically increase. So, let’s do our best, starting right now, to make a pledge to “look while we cook,” to keep an eye on what we fry, and be alert at all times when cooking.

There’s a time and a place for our iphones and iPads, computers and other gadgets. Leave them in the other room when you’re cooking to ensure your attention is focused exactly where it should be: at the stove and at the table with family and friends. Then, when the last of the dishes are washed and put away, go ahead and pick up the phone if you must.

Keep cooking safety on your mind. Go to NFPA’s cooking fire safety central web page for more information.

Source:: NFPA – Safety Information

Michael S. Williams

Michael S. Williams

Williams founded the Fire Services Training Institute in 1995 to find solutions to the challenges confronting the volunteer fire service. He has been an active member of California State Firefighters Association (CSFA) since 1994, having served on the volunteer and public relations committees, and as a southern division deputy director. He sits on several local organizations including the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council, the Tri-Counties Training Officers Association, Santa Barbara Chapter of CAER and is a founding member of the Santa Barbara PIO group Emergency Public Information Communicators (EPIC). He has been the author of many articles and a columnist for a local newspaper on public safety matters. He is also the co-host of Community Alert on KZSB AM-1290 in Santa Barbara. Williams has been a member of the California State Board of Fire Services since 2008. Prior to becoming involved in the volunteer fire service, Williams was a California police officer for 12 ½ years and a POST certified Field Training Officer. He is a licensed private investigator and security consultant specializing in self-insured, government and insurance defense assignments.

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