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Peoria Fire Department Urging Safety, Prevention

Tanya Koonce
Peoria Public Radio

With fewer firefighters on the job following the city's recent budget cuts, the Peoria Fire Department wants to reduce the number of fires they have to battle.

Stan Taylor, division chief for fire prevention, says one of the main messages to residents during Fire Prevention Week is to stay alert, particularly in the kitchen.

“Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire in Peoria, and throughout the country,” Taylor said. “And we're trying to bring awareness to that with some catchy sayings like, ‘Keep an eye on what you fry.’”

Taylor said the recent cuts necessitated by the impact of COVID-19 on the city’s budget make getting the fire prevention word out to residents a bit more of a challenge this week – but fire personnel are making it happen.

“We’re having all the fire companies go out door-to-door and putting door hangers on our residents’ doors to remind them to watch what they're cooking, and to test their smoke alarms,” said Taylor, adding tables have been set up at various stores throughout the city as a way to promote fire safety.

With cold weather around the corner, Taylor said residents should not heat their homes with their ovens, noting the danger comes from more than just potentially starting a blaze.

“Using your oven to heat is ... it's not efficient. Plus, from the combustion of the oven, you're introducing carbon monoxide into your home, which we know is a silent killer,” he said. “That's why we also promote carbon monoxide alarms as well as smoke alarms.”

Taylor also emphasized that space heaters also can trigger fires if they are too close to bedding or draperies.

WCBU Interview

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Daniel joined WCBU with eight years of experience in public radio, primarily in operations and engineering.
Joe Deacon is a reporter at WCBU.