That seemingly routine late-night trip to the kitchen to fry up a couple of eggs can be disastrous if proper fire safety precautions are not followed.
That's the message Violet Township Fire Chief John Eisel wants to hammer home as part of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from through Oct. 12.
Eisel said the Violet Township Fire Department is joining forces with the non-profit National Fire Protection Association to remind local residents to "prevent kitchen fires."
"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," Eisel said.
"Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start," he said.
As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Violet Township Fire Department will hold an Open House from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at Station 592, 8700 Refugee Road N.W. in Pickerington. The event is free and open to the public.
Firefighters will be on hand to discuss the dangers of kitchen fires, most of which result from unattended cooking, and will be teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.
"With 40 percent of home fires in the United States originating in the kitchen, we feel it is vital to focus on this year's theme of preventing kitchen fires," said Eisel, adding he looks forward to "utilizing the opportunity of an open house and education to prevent these fires."
Eisel said the Violet Township Fire Department Open House will host a number of activities for those of all ages.
"It is our chance to showcase what resources we have, as well as thank our community for their tremendous support," he said.
The event will feature a fire safety house, which will allow children to be placed inside a non-hazardous smoke-filled environment and then teach them how to safely get out of a home in case of a fire.
Area residents can also get their fire extinguishers inspected and serviced as well as purchase a second floor escape ladder.
Additionally, children will get the opportunity to dress up in fire gear and get their pictures taken, take a tour of the firehouse and get a free fire helmet, courtesy of Sparky the Fire Dog.
Eisel said the open house will have the effect of breaking down barriers for children so that they aren't afraid if they ever have to deal with firefighters if there is an emergency.
"At times, children can be intimidated by firefighters with all of their protective clothing on," Eisel said.
"That is why we walk in parades with gear, visit schools, and do all we can to educate and prevent accidents and injuries," he said.