As the Spring Festival is on the corner, families are busy cleaning houses and surroundings, while purchasing goods for the festival. According to Taipei City Fire Department, there were 115 fires during Spring Festival from 2018 to 2019 which, fortunately, resulted in no casualties. The dominating cause of fire was Cooking (46.1%), followed by Electricity and Firecrackers (14.8% each). 94.3% of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials, then by heating the frying oil too long, failure to clean oily cooking equipment, and heat sources too close to combustibles (1.9% each). Almost two-third of cooking fires caused by equipment left unattended.
Taipei City Fire Department reminds the public should always cook with caution. Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. If there is a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Let the pan cool for a long time with wet towels covering the lid. Never throw water on the fire. As for restaurants, it is highly suggested that the interior part of commercial hoods should be cleaned periodically to avoid grease from accumulating. It is the gathered grease and the flame temperature that lead to kitchen fires.
Electrical fires are the second leading cause of fires during Spring Festival, which were primarily involved in short-circuit arc (41.2%), usually in signboards, and misuse (11.8%) often found in toasters and ovens. Electrical safety tips should always bear in mind. Don’t overload the sockets by plugging in excess heat-producing appliances. Don’t tie up the cords. Keep receptacle outlets clean and dry. Unplug the appliances that are not using. Don’t place any combustibles near electrical appliances. Last, only purchase and utilize the products with certification mark issued by Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection. As for the fireworks and firecrackers, it is only allowed to use them in some riverside parks during Spring Festival in Taipei City. Users should follow the instructions, including not to set off the firecrackers toward individuals, buildings, and facilities. Check the website to have further information.
As for the guidance to prevent incendiary fires, owners should ensure the internal and external windows or doors are locked to keep the fire-setters from breaking into the house. Don’t accumulate waste or rubbish. Recycled the scrapped vehicle as soon as possible. Good lighting and CCTV will often act as a deterrent to the criminal. Keep the living surroundings neat to reduce the risk of fire. Meanwhile, build up good habits of using flame-related equipment and electrical appliances to have a safety year.
- Source：Taipei City Fire Department