Did you know that over 60% of accidental dwelling fires start in the kitchen? This means that you are six times more likely to have an incident in your kitchen than in any other room in the house.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are reminding you to ‘Look when you cook’ and never leave cooking unattended, A moment’s distraction can lead to damage in your home to the value of thousands of pounds – or in the worst case a tragedy.
We all know that when cooking it’s easy to be distracted, but our stats indicate that you are most likely to get distracted between 17:00 – 19:00. This is exactly the time when the evening meal is being prepared and becoming distracted can happen easily. The risk is heightened if you cook using a chip pan or deep fat fryer. Microwave use and distraction is also an issue.
People over pensionable age and on their own are also more likely to become distracted during the process of cooking in the evening or at lunchtime resulting in injuries. While people on their own but under pensionable age are most likely to have a cooking incident as a result of falling asleep after a night out.
There are several things you can do to prevent fires when using a cooker:
• make sure you don’t get distracted when cooking, even for a short period of time, turn off the cooker
• turn saucepans so the handles don’t stick out over the edge of the hob or over another ring make sure tea-towels aren’t hanging over the cooker and don’t put oven gloves on top of a hot cooker
• keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your cooker top
• double check that the cooker is off when you have finished cooking
Stay alive and stay safe with a working smoke alarm. This will greatly increase your chances of escaping from a fire unharmed. Without one you and your family are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home.
Check that a smoke alarm is fitted on each level of your property:
• once a year – change your battery or consider buying a ten-year alarm which will not require frequent battery changes
• regularly check your alarms by pressing the button
• once a year – vacuum and wipe the smoke alarm casing to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor chamber (for mains wired alarms, switch off first).
In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
Thought about making the call to request free Home Safety advice? Call free now on 0800 05 02 999. For any other fire safety advice, contact the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue helpline on: 01392 872288 or visit our website www.dsfire.gov.uk