NORTH ADAMS -- The North Adams Fire Department will host an open house Wednesday in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week.
Safety demonstrations, giveaways and pizza will be free and available to the public at the firehouse between 6 and 8 p.m.
Visitors can also get a first-hand look at the department's fire trucks and equipment.
The theme of this year's fire prevention week is preventing kitchen fires, and people who attend the open house will hear tips on how to keep their kitchens safe.
"If a pan fire starts, put a lid on it," said North Adams Fire Director Stephen Meranti on Monday.
Meranti said that a lid should always be nearby when cooking. If whatever is being cooked catches fire, the lid can be used to suffocate the flames. And it's not always grease that catches fire, Meranti said.
Parents should maintain a 3-foot "safe-zone" around their oven for kids, Meranti said.
There will be mats at the firehouse so kids can practice the stop, drop, and roll technique for if their clothing were to catch fire. Fire Educator John Marlowe will be on hand to help demonstrate the method.
As winter nears, Meranti said, there are a number of other precautions people can take to prevent a fire in their homes.
"You should have your heating appliance checked and have your chimney cleaned or at least inspected," Meranti said.
Those who heat their homes with wood stoves should make sure they are burning dry wood, according to Meranti.
Homeowners should avoid using kerosene heaters, Meranti said, because they are a fire hazard and produce carbon monoxide.
"Most of the calls we respond to are preventable," Meranti said.
Many people use the space around whatever appliance heats their home as storage during the summer, Meranti said. They should make sure that area is clear before using heat for the first time this fall.
The use of space heaters is discouraged, but if it is necessary, give them room to breathe.
"Give space heaters space," Meranti said.
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