This July, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s cooking safety campaign, urging residents to take extra care when cooking at home and when using barbecues in the warm weather.
Ian Barks, Central Hub Prevention Manager, said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, often because people get distracted by their phone, TV or by interactions with friends and family. Whatever happens elsewhere in your home, please always make sure you look while you cook and keep one eye on the hob at all times.
“We also know that you might be starting to spend more time outdoors enjoying the warmer weather. Whilst having a barbecue is a great way to spend time with friends and family, we want to remind you that a barbecue could start a fire if not handled correctly.
“By following our advice and taking the appropriate preventative measures both indoors and outdoors, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of an incident happening.”
To keep stay safe in your kitchen, take a look at our cooking safety advice:
- Keep looking when cooking – don’t get distracted.
- Take care if you are wearing loose clothing.
- Keep tea towels, cloths and other items away from the oven and hob area.
- Never leave cooking unattended, if you do need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
- Don’t cook if you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking medication.
- Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
- Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out so they don’t get knocked off the stove.
- Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
If you’re having a barbecue, you can reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out by following the below advice:
- Make sure you place it well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues and never leave them unattended. Drinking alcohol while cooking is not recommended.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it. Empty the ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- If you’re using a disposable barbecue, ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it’s out.
- Never use a barbecue indoors or in a tent as this can give off an invisible, odourless, potentially lethal carbon monoxide gas. This can be emitted for many hours, even after it has gone out.