Grand Forks AFB observes Fire Prevention Week

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Roxanne Belovarac
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

The 319th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department is observing the 101st annual Fire Prevention Week Oct. 8-14, 2023, helping to educate more than 5,000 Airmen, children and families from the installation and local community.

Fire Prevention Week takes place each year during the week of Oct. 9th in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association to commemorate the “Great Chicago Fire” of 1871. The week of observance is also used to educate communities on the importance of fire safety.

This year’s theme is “cooking safety stars with you.” With the help of 319th CES fire department members, the base and surrounding community is provided education on important actions to take to keep themselves and others safe from home fires.

The 319th CES fire department will be hosting several actives throughout the week including a parade through base housing, school visits on base and in the local community, visits to the Child Development Center and an open house with activities to highlight fire safety. You can find all the Fire Prevention Weeks on the 319th Reconnaissance Wing events calendar here.

“It’s great that we can take this week to talk to children and adults on base to ensure they take the proper precautions when it comes to safety in the kitchen,” said Brian Williams, the fire inspector for the 319th CES. “Recent history shows that kitchen fires are the most commonly occurring fires on base. Even over the last year we’ve gone to four cooking incidents in the dorms alone, so it’s great we can talk to everyone about this topic in particular.”

Williams went on to say that fire doesn’t discriminate, so fire prevention is for everyone to learn how to keep themselves, their families and their home safe.

 “Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires by far, accounting for half of all U.S. home fires,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at the National Fire Prevention Association.  “These numbers tell us that there is still much work to do when it comes to better educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.”

Make sure to keep your homes prepared, test smoke alarms regularly, keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and make sure children and pets stay clear of any cooking areas.

The Grand Forks AFB fire department encourages all residents to embrace the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme, and offers these key safety tips to help reduce the risks of a cooking fire:

- 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 and 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 three feet around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week or fire and home safety, visit