Kitchen fires up 88 percent as residents stay at home, Durham Fire Department says

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Firetrucks and firefighters are something you never want to see at your home. But the Durham Fire Department said they've seen a major increase in calls.

"During the stay-at-home order there's a lot of kitchen fires. Well that makes complete sense when you think about it," said Durham Fire Department Chief Robert Zoldos.

Since the beginning of the stay-at-home order, Durham Fire Department said they've seen an 88 percent increase in kitchen fires.

"Everyone's at home. And a lot of people--not me--but my kids are experimenting with cooking and trying new things," Zoldos said.

Zoldos said now is the time to refresh yourself on some safety types.

"Always use your timers. Those are very helpful. Stovetop timers are great. Our cell phone timer is great also," said DFD captain Carol Reardon.

Reardon also said to stay in the kitchen when you're cooking, and keep a three-foot safety zone away from the stove for kids and pets. Also, keep any item that can burn away from the stovetop, just in case it's accidentally turned on.

"You have to remember when a homeowner has a fire it doesn't just affect the home--it's the whole neighborhood," Reardon said.

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So by all means, experiment and have fun in the kitchen. But the Durham Fire Department said safety should always come first.

"Have fun and experiment, just do your research and make sure you're safe," Chief Zoldos said.

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