Keep looking while cooking this July

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Picture of hob with lit gas flames.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council cooking safety campaign throughout July, by urging residents to take extra care when cooking at home and using barbecues in the warm weather, with temperatures in Berkshire set to rise again.  

Central Hub Group Manager Tregear Thomas said: “We want people to enjoy the good weather, but equally we are asking people to take steps to keep themselves and others safe. A barbecue with friends and family can be a great way to relax, but following a few simple safety measures will help you keep your loved ones safe.

“One of the main causes of fires is cooking – particularly getting distracted while in the kitchen. Cooking can be a great family activity, but don’t get distracted and keep looking while you are cooking. By following our safety advice, you can prevent accidents from happening, easing the pressure on our emergency services. Taking preventative measures around the home and outside will make a difference in preventing fires and other emergencies.”

Cooking safety:

  • 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.

Barbecue safety:

  • If you are planning to have a barbecue, make sure you place it well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • 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.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues and never leave it 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.

For more information on staying safe while cooking this summer please visit: rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/safety-at-home/cooking/