JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fire Prevention Office, in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association, is celebrating National Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4-10. The theme this year is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.”According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of all reported home fires start in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food and/or other cooking materials.“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”The JBLM Fire Prevention Office believes the most important action you can take is to “serve up fire safety in the kitchen” as cooking fires can grow quickly. Several homes on base have been damaged over the years, along with family members injured, by fires that could have easily been prevented.NFPA wants to share these safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire.Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.Be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medication or have consumed alcohol.Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when cooking. If you experience a grease fire, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered to completely cool.Have a “child-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove as well as all other areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.·         The JBLM Fire Department provides a series virtual public safety announcements along with NFPA training spots on the Lewis-McChord Fire and Emergency Services Facebook page in support of our 2020 Fire Prevention Week campaign.·        To find out more about Fire Prevention Week at JBLM contact the fire prevention office at 253-377-4651 or edward.j.chavez.civ@mail.mil.