Stay attentive and stay safe

Paying attention to the stove might seem like a no-brainer

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Nothing could be closer to this truth when it comes to some of the  most common causes of household fires on the Saanich Peninsula.

Central Saanich Fire Chief Ron French, in an interview about Fire Prevention Week Oct. 5 to 11, spoke to us about inattention and how it contributes to disaster.

Specifically, inattention in the kitchen can lead to a variety of calamities. Paying attention to the stove might seem like a no-brainer but French says people sometimes do get distracted and forget they’ve left a pot on to boil or some kind of food or oil on the heat. At best, a pot might boil dry or be damaged beyond repair. At worst, the heat can catch nearby materials on fire — or the oil in a pan could catch and send smoke throughout the house.

While there can be simple solutions to tackling a stove fire — such as covering the flames with a lid, for example — the best way to avoid one in the first place is to finish what you’ve started.

This type of fire is easily prevented if  one keeps their mind where it should be — on the stove until the meal is cooked or the water boiled. If you must take your eyes off it for any reason, try setting an alarm to remind you of your responsibility to turn off the stove and not burn down the kitchen.

There are plenty of distractions out there, without a doubt. Yet most people do have the skills to stick with one project at a time — especially when extreme heat and the potential for trouble exists.

We often take cooking for granted but it’s always good to remember the forces we’re playing with. It’s not earth-shattering, but a single mistake could shatter one’s home and well-being.