Date: 9th February, 2021
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding everyone about the importance of kitchen safety advice as part of a national month-long focus on cooking.
With the national lockdown in place, and the February half term just around the corner, many children across Dorset & Wiltshire will be spending more time in the kitchen. Whether they’re lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know the hazards of a hot hob.
So as part of the national fire safety campaign, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are encouraging parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance for children to learn about cooking safety.
Prevention Delivery Manager, Ian Hopkins said: “There are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety.
And it’s vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen.
“So, alongside the melting, mixing and making, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety knowledge? Test your smoke alarms as part of the activity. And remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.”
With most restaurants closed, many people will be taking the opportunity to cook up some delicious home cooked meals, especially with Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day over the next week. Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen – often because of distractions like phone calls or family. Whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.
The Service’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are:
- Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
- If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
- Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.
- Keep tea towels, cloths and other combustible items (such as paper and cardboard food packaging) away from the cooker and hob
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
- Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
- Take care with electrics – keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
- Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
- Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
- Hot oil can catch fire easily – be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
- In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
- Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly.
- Ensure hobs are fully cooled before leaving the kitchen and never place an empty pan back on to a hot hob, to ensure you don’t burn the bottom of the pan.
Some fun half-term activities can be found at https://www.dwfire.org.uk/education/education-activity-archive/