Date: 20th October, 2018
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people not to leave items on top of their cookers.
The kitchen of a flat in Reeve Lane, Poundbury was severely damaged yesterday (19 October) after the electric hob was accidentally switched on, setting alight a nappy bag which had been left on it.
Two fire crews from Dorchester and one from Weymouth were called to the property at 5.19pm and used two breathing apparatus wearers and one hose reel jet to extinguish the blaze.
The occupants of the flat – a mother and two young children – escaped uninjured after being alerted to the fire by their smoke alarm.
Group Manager Richard Coleman said: “Nearly two thirds of all accidental dwelling fires in Dorset and Wiltshire last year started in the kitchen, and this incident shows just how easy it is for accidents to happen. The safest thing to do is never leave any items on the surface of your hob. Fortunately, this family had working smoke alarms and were able to call for help very quickly, so they suffered no harm and the damage was contained to the kitchen.”
The Fire and Rescue Service has the following kitchen safety advice:
- 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.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service provide free Safe and Well visits, which aim to make you safer in your own home. A member of DWFRS staff will come to your home and provide you with bespoke home safety advice, covering areas such as 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.
To request a free Safe & Well visit, call 0800 038 2323 or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety for more information and advice.