Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging everyone to take extra care when cooking this Pancake Day. The warning comes as part of a month-long campaign advising Berkshire residents on how they can reduce the risk of having a cooking-related house fire this February and throughout the year.
Cooking fires now make up half of all accidental fires in the home in England. Cooking-related fires tend to result in the most non-fatal casualties and the second most fatalities (behind smoking products)*.
There are simple steps that you can take to ensure you have a safe Pancake Day:
- Never leave cooking unattended, even for a minute
- If you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them right down
- Don’t fill a hot oil pan more than one third full of oil
- If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot – turn off the heat and leave it to cool
- Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when you’re cooking on the hob. Keep matches and pan handles out of their reach to keep them safe
- Make sure pan handles don’t stick out so they don’t get knocked off the stove
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire
- Keep towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
- Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking
If a pan catches fire:
- Don’t take any risk. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so and never throw water over it
- Don’t tackle the fire yourself – Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999
Iain Harrison, Group Manager for Prevention at RBFRS, said: “When celebrating Pancake Day it is easy to get distracted but we are urging everyone to take extra care when cooking. You can take small steps to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe, such as keeping pan handles and matches out of children’s reach.
“Another step is to test your smoke alarms once a week. This can buy you that extra bit of precious time needed to escape in a fire. If you haven’t already, fit working smoke alarms to every level of your home.”