Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue is set to host its annual Fire Prevention Week next week, and it's packed with all sorts of activities and demonstrations themed around "Fire Safety in the Kitchen."

National Fire Prevention Week is designed as a way to raise awareness for the ways people in their homes can prevent fires, while also learning about the role of Fire and Rescue officers and how they do their jobs.

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"The majority of our fires here in Tuscaloosa, residential fires, are from cooking," said TFR Educator Holly Whigham.

To keep things safe for Tuscaloosa residents, TFR is doing things a little differently this year – the festivities will focus on at-home activities for families to teach their children, as well as get them involved through things like a chalk drawing competition through the Art Garage.

In collaboration with Tuscaloosa City Schools, TFR is also pushing forward with "Project F.I.R.E." (Fire Injury Reduction Education), a program where firefighters visit elementary schools, teaching kindergarten plus second- and fourth-grade students on the importance of fire prevention safety.

Despite not being able to hold the annual Fire Expo, an in-person kickoff event with live fire rescue demonstrations, virtual reality experiences and other activities for families, TFR plans to host pre-recorded demonstrations on its social media, primarily on Facebook and Twitter.

TFR will continue to use next week as a way to raise awareness about the importance of smoke alarms, as well. In the past, residents could visit the Fire Expo for free car seat installations and inquire about free smoke detector inspections. Now, those services can be scheduled via appointment.

"There's a lot of simple tips that people can take away to prevent fires from happening," Whigham said. "We're just trying to bring attention to that to educate the public, and do so with some fun and entertaining things where they can learn at the same time."

Fire Prevention Week kicks into high gear next week. Stay tuned for more coverage on The Tuscaloosa Thread.

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