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      After 3 fires in 1 day, NCFD releases tips on keeping your family safe

      File (WCIV)

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- North Charleston firefighters responded to three separate house fires Monday, sparking a response from fire officials to reach out to the community and ensure everyone remembers basic fire safety precautions.

      According to a release from the North Charleston Fire Department, the first fire happened on Plantation Boulevard. The fire was contained to the oven and officials reported no injuries.

      The second fire broke out around 6:20 p.m. at a town home on Shadow Oaks Drive. Officials said that fire started when a candle was left unattended and caused minot damage to the living room. One resident was reportedly treated for minor burns.

      Just a couple of hours later, crews were called out to Pinehurst Street in the Ashley Heights neighborhood. Responding firefighters said they saw a light haze coming from the roof of the single-story home but the fire was contained to the kitchen. Officials said the trouble started because a resident was cooking with grease and let the pot become too hot. While no injuries were reported, a family of seven was displaced.

      With more people being home for the summer, and cooking being a major chore, NCFD officials say it's important residents keep in mind ways to prevent fires from starting.

      In a release Tuesday, a NCFD spokesperson states cooking accounts for 50 percent of the fires reported in the city. Even if you don't live in North Charleston, officials hope these tips can help you make sure your family is safe while preparing meals.

      Watch what you heat, meaning stay in the kitchen while you are cooking and pay attention to what is heating on the stove whether it be frying, grilling, or broiling. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

      If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

      If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.

      Keep everything that can catch fire -- oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains -- away from the stovetop.

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      NCFD officials also advise residents to keep a fire extinguisher, cookies sheet or lid handy in case a fire does break out. You can place a cookie sheet over a burning pot of or use large amounts of baking soda to smother a fire.

      They also point out that you should never pour salt, flour, or sugar on a kitchen fire, because those things are like adding fuel to the fire. act as fuel instead of a retardant. Water is also to be avoided as it would scatter rather than put out the flames.

      If a fire does break out in your home, officials advise to call 911 first before trying to put the fire out yourself and if it is too big or has been burning longer than 30 seconds, leave the house and call in the professionals.

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