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BISMARCK, N.D. – Oct. 8-14 has been proclaimed Fire Prevention Week in North Dakota by Gov. Doug Burgum.  

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention(TM).” According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths. 

“This is an important time for the fire service as we work to educate North Dakotans about fire safety and taking precautions now to prevent, or at least limit the impact of, fires,” said State Fire Marshal Doug Nelson. “Every home should have a fire safety plan. Make sure everyone knows where to go if a fire breaks out.” 

In North Dakota, approximately $48.6 million worth of property and possessions were lost due to fires in 2022, the most lost in a single year over the past ten years. Last year, 19 fatalities were reported due to fires across the state. In all, 2,727 fires were reported in North Dakota in 2022. 

“We all can make a difference in protecting one another by taking practical steps to lessen the risk of fire in our homes and businesses. I encourage North Dakotans to engage with their local fire departments and support their efforts to protect all of us. They are our neighbors, friends and relatives who want to keep us safe,” said Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread. 

The State Fire Marshal offers these tips to help reduce the risk of cooking fires: 

  • Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking. 
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.   
  • Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried. 

Residents are also encouraged to test smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. 

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