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Waukesha Fire shares how to keep kids safe in the kitchen

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) As New Yorkers mourn the loss of 12 people killed in an apartment fire Thursday, Wisconsin fire departments are looking at how they're educating the public.

“To try to make a silver lining out of this is that we can have a local conversation,” Waukesha Fire Division Chief Dennis Graff said.

The Bronx fire started in a kitchen on the first floor of the building. The New York Fire Commissioner said a three-year-old was playing with stove burners and accidentally ignited the fire. 

“The fact that it was a young child that was at the source of it was shocking,” Graff said. 

That's why fire crews educate kids. In Waukesha, twice a year crews bring local students into the Fire Safety House to teach them about fire hazards. Firefighters go through different areas of the miniature house, focusing particularly on kitchen safety. It’s actually a state-mandated program. Fire Departments are required to conduct a school education program every year.

Graff said there are steps parents can take as well, like buying stove knob covers to prevent kids from playing with them. You can find them on AmazonTarget, and Bed Bath & Beyond

“Ten dollars or less, we can put this on and hopefully not have to talk about a story like this locally,” Graff said.

Here are some other fire safety tips:

  • If you still have your Christmas tree up, make sure you’re watering it
  • Make sure you blow out candles before going to bed
  • Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking, especially with kids around
  • Keep oven mitts or anything else that could catch fire away from the burners
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near your kitchen
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