This February, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) are asking people to take care when cooking, especially during the February half term when many children across Berkshire will be spending more time in the kitchen.
With Pancake Day, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day approaching, there are lots of opportunities for people of all ages to get creative in the kitchen throughout the month. However, RBFRS are reminding people to be careful as more accidental fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.
Paul Scott, Prevention Manager at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen – often because people are distracted. So, whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.
“If you’re cooking with young people, remember to never leave a child alone around an open flame or hot hob. Keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.”
Fires in the kitchen can start and spread quickly. To keep yourself safe cooking, remember:
- 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 and oven 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 – 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.
- Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly.
If a fire does start in your home, remember to get out, stay out and call 999.