CROSS LANES, W.Va. – Some simple reminders could save your life. The Red Cross wants all homeowners to follow the rules of the kitchen to avoid stove and oven fires.

“Kitchen fires are the leading cause of fire related injuries in the state. Two out of every 5 fires in the state are related to kitchen fires,” according to John Bernard, the Red Cross Regional Disaster Program Officer.

Bernard said for your safety and the safety of those in your house, you need to be clear headed in the kitchen.

“If you’re cooking in the kitchen, you need to stay in the kitchen. If you’re going to baking something, use a timer,” stressed Bernard. “If there are kids in the house, don’t let them be in the kitchen without you.”

October is Fire Prevention Safety month. C.W. Sigman, the deputy emergency manager in Kanawha County, set up a simulated kitchen fire outside the Red Cross office Thursday to show the danger of grease fires.

“We’re doing this outside with everything away from us. Think about, in the kitchen, with curtains and cabinets over top,” said Sigman.

With a natural gas hot plate and a small skillet of grease, Sigman was able to recreate a sizable fireball just by adding a few drops of water into the skillet.

Most kitchen fires in West Virginia don’t end in a fatality. Sigman said that’s because people are awake when they’re preparing food. But Bernard stressed it can still be a disaster.

“Even if everybody makes it out alive, you don’t have a roof over your head. You don’t have a place to sleep. You don’t have the right clothes,” explained Bernard.

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