HARRISBURG – State Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook is urging Pennsylvanians to learn about the importance of fire safety education by taking part in this year’s Fire Prevention Week, running now through October 14. This year’s theme, “Cooking Safety Starts with You: Pay Attention to Fire Prevention,” works to educate everyone about the importance of attentive cooking. Nationwide, cooking fires cause over $1 billion in direct property damages per year and inattentive cooking remains the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Today’s homes are filled with synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster than ever. In a typical fire, you may have as little as two minutes to safely exit the structure from the time you first hear a smoke alarm. Cooking fires peak every year in the months of November and December as more families prepare holiday meals. Many local fire departments across the state will be holding open houses, with activities for kids and important fire safety facts to share. Persons can find tips about fire safety by clicking on the banner below.