For Immediate Release
Posted: October 06, 2023


Amy McLaughlin, Public Information Officer
(603) 931-9083 |

Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14

The NH State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds citizens: “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.”

Concord, NH – The NH State Fire Marshal's Office is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) – the official sponsor of Fire Prevention WeekTM (FPW) for more than 100 years – to promote this year's FPW campaign, "Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention™." The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take when cooking to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Nationally, unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths. Here in New Hampshire, cooking remains one of the top two leading causes of home fires, with departments reporting they responded to nearly 400 annually between 2018 and 2022. Two of every seven reported home fires in New Hampshire starts in the kitchen, with 29% of these fires resulting from unattended cooking.

"Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires by far, accounting for half (49 percent) of all U.S. home fires," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. "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."

State Fire Marshal Sean Toomey encourages all residents to be vigilant about fire safety when cooking. A cooking fire can grow quickly, damaging homes and injuring people from fires that could easily have been prevented." Marshal Toomey would also like to remind citizens that "smoke alarms save lives. Make sure you have working smoke alarms installed in your home."

In recognition of the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme, "Cooking safety starts with YOU," the NH State Fire Marshal's Office offers these key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire:

  1. Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Members of the NH State Fire Marshal's Office will be attending many events across the state in support of this year's FPW campaign. To find out more about FPW programs and activities in your area, please contact your local fire department.

For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking safety, visit For fire safety fun for kids, visit