Venice firefighters will be visiting area schools and other places to teach fire safety and prevention throughout October in observance of National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is Preventing Kitchen Fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the most common cause of fires and injuries in the home.

The Venice Fire Department, along with the National Fire Protection Association, has some safety advice for you:

Always be alert when working in the kitchen. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove.

Never leave the kitchen while you are cooking on the stove top. If you must leave. even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

If baking, check it regularly and remain in the home until it is done.

Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove. Flammable items like oven mitts, utensils, food packing, towels and curtains should be well away from heat sources.

Never wear clothing with loose fitting sleeves that can catch fire while cooking.

Always turn pan handles so they are over the stove and not where a youngster can reach them or an adult can accidentally knock the pan over, causing hot food to spill on someone.

Keep a lid nearby that you can use to smother a small grease fire. Slide the lid on the pan and turn off the stove, leaving the pan where it is until cooled.

If there is fire in the oven or microwave, turn off the appliance and leave the door closed.

If you have a kitchen fire, you should leave immediately, taking everyone in the house with you and closing the door behind you to contain the fire. Call 911 after you leave.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls.

For information, contact the Venice Fire Department, (941) 480-3030.