To view this media release in a PDF format, please click here.


For immediate release
October 9, 2020


Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is issuing a statement in recognition of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 4 to 10, 2020.

The focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is ensuring everyone stays safe in the kitchen. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” The theme encourages people to take simple but important actions to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.

“I want to encourage all families and individuals in Northern Manitoba to think about safety tips for staying safe in the kitchen. Review the tips and talk about them with your family. Teach children about things they can do if they are going to be in the kitchen unattended,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “Although Fire Prevention Week is only one week of the year, it’s important to think about fire safety throughout the year.”

Some tips to consider:

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries
  • Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment
  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking
  • If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner
  • Leave the pan covered until it’s cool
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop
  • Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire
  • Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 metre) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried

Other safety tips:

  • Draw a map of your home and mark two exits from each room
  • Practice your fire drill twice a year including one at night
  • Practice different ways to get out of the house
  • Teach children to escape on their own in case an adult cannot help them
  • Make sure everyone in the house knows how to call 911 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or the neighbour’s phone
  • Close doors as people leave, as it helps slow the spread of smoke and fire
  • Once people are outside, stay outside and never go back into a burning building
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and in every bedroom
  • Remove smoke alarms from the wall or ceiling, check for the manufacture date, and replace any that are 10 years old or older
  • Test alarms monthly
  • Ensure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands they should get outside immediately if they hear it
  • Agree on a family meeting place
  • Stay outside and call the fire department

“Thanksgiving is a time when many of us enjoy preparing a big meal to share with our families,” said Grand Chief Settee. “I encourage all MKO citizens to review the safety steps to mitigate the harm that can be caused by a fire caused by cooking. Let’s all practice fire safety to help keep our families and loved ones safe.”


For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Phone: 204-612-1284
Email: [email protected]

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that has represented 26 First Nation communities in Manitoba’s North since 1981. The MKO represents more than 72,000 First Nations people.