Over the weekend Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service attended fifteen incidents that started after cooking or other items had either been left on the hob, in the oven, or appliances had been turned on and then left unattended. Six of these incidents resulted in fires.
Station Manager, Mike Graham said: “Being distracted while cooking is one of the main causes of fire call-outs with over 60% of accidental dwelling fires in Devon & Somerset starting 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.
“I would urge people to check that their smoke alarms are working and to remind them that whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”
Look when you cook
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 living on their own are also more likely to become distracted during the process of cooking in the evening or at lunchtime resulting in injuries.
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.
• Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
• Double check the hob 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.
• Don’t leave children in the kitchen alone when you’re 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.
• Have an escape plan in place.
• If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
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).
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