PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook is urging residents to take part in 2023’s Fire Prevention Week by learning more about fire safety and education.

Fire Prevention Week is from Sunday, Oct. 8 through Saturday, Oct. 14.

“Local fire departments across the Commonwealth will be holding open houses, with activities for kids and important fire safety facts to share,” Cook said.  “It’s a great opportunity to introduce kids to emergency responders, and for the whole family to learn more about how to stay safe when fires occur.”

The theme for this year’s fire prevention week is  Cooking Safety Starts with You: Pay Attention to Fire Prevention,” and is to educate everyone about the importance of attentive cooking. Cooking fires cause over $1 billion in direct property damage each year.  

Inattentive cooking remains the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties according to the National Fire Protection Association.

“With the holidays right around the corner, it’s more important than ever to note the fire dangers in our kitchens,” Cook added.  “Cooking fires peak every year in the months of November and December as more families prepare holiday meals, and the risk really cannot be overstated: always pay attention when cooking.”

To ensure that meals are prepared safely, follow these tips:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food; if you need to leave, turn off the stove.
  • Do not leave your home while an oven is in operation.
  • Keep anything that may catch fire, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, etc, away from stovetops.
  • Have a kid-free zone of at least 3 feet around the stove and other areas where hot foods are prepared.
  • If a fire does occur, just get out!

For additional information on fire safety, including seasonal fire safety tips, visit the Office of the State Fire Commissioner online at,