City officials are acknowledging October as Fire Prevention Month in Laurel. Throughout the month, city staff members will send out fire prevention information and visit local schools to educate children about fire prevention and safety, and weekly tips will be posted on the city's website cityoflaurel.org.

Prevent Kitchen Fires is the National Fire Prevention Association's theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12. According to city officials, cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home. The city offered these tips for kitchen fire safety:

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.

• If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• When you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.

• If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove.

• When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

• Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stove top.

• Clean up food and grease from burners and stove tops.

For more information about fire safety or this year's Fire Prevention Week theme, call Laurel Fire Marshal Dave Cope at 301-725-5300 Ext. 2250.