Date: 1st October, 2018
DWFRS are using the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Home Safety Week, from 1st-7th October, to remind the public to take care when cooking, after more than half of all accidental fires in the home last year started in the kitchen.
During 2017/18 DWFRS attended 787 accidental dwelling fires throughout Dorset and Wiltshire, with 62% of fires occurring in the kitchen area. Over half of those kitchen fires were caused by unsafe cooking practices; this includes leaving cooking unattended, leaving items too close to the cooker, chip pan fires and poor use\maintenance of cooking equipment.
Safe and Well Manager Vikki Thomas said “Cooking takes place in almost every home, every day. We want to remind members of the public that this every day activity can be really dangerous. Cookers should be left clear and turned off when you’re not cooking, if you have to leave the kitchen for any reason whilst cooking please take pans off the heat or turn them down. Finally, if you are unlucky enough to experience a fire, please get out of the house, stay out and call 999. Please remember to check your appliances regularly; ensuring they are clean and fit for purpose.”
Vikki added: “NFCC Home Safety Week is the perfect opportunity to take a look at the fire safety measures in your home, with fresh eyes. We recommend every home has a working smoke alarm on each level and this is tested once a week. DWFRS also suggest that heat alarms are fitted in areas like the kitchen to alert you to a fire and we will be fitting these as part of our Safe and Well visits going forward.”
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue provide free Safe and Well visits with aim of making you safer in your own home. These visits involve a member of DWFRS staff visiting the home and providing you with bespoke home safety advice on the use of candles, cooking, electric blankets, overloading sockets, chimneys, low energy light bulbs and much more. They even fit or replace smoke alarms, if appropriate. This is all free of charge with the aim of encouraging you to think about fire safety in the home. To request a free Safe & Well visit, or to find out more information about being safe at home, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety/safety-at-home
More cooking safety information:
- 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 and cloths 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 – leads and appliances away from water and place grills and 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.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
- Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.