Keep Safe When Cooking This February

During February, many people across Royal Berkshire will be spending more time in the kitchen. With Pancake Day, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day around the corner, there are lots of opportunities for people to bake, cook and create throughout the month.

When you are distracted by the haunting image of a delicious, warm meal, snack or pancake, fire safety may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, fat and chip pan fires can be devastating, with a very high proportion of fires resulting in injuries.

So as part of the national fire safety campaign, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to take extra care in the kitchen in February.

Nicola Smith, Prevention Manager, said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So, whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”

Two hobs with blue flames

Royal Berkshire Fore and Rescue Service offers the following advice for staying safe in the kitchen this February:

  • 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.
  • ·In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.

If you would like to find out more about fire safety when cooking, you can find further information on the RBFRS website: Cooking (rbfrs.co.uk).