Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Firefighters hope to drive down cooking-related fires in Hastings

Hastings firefighters will be speaking to the public about cooking safely outside Debenhams this weekend.

The event will take place this Friday and Saturday, 16th and 17th August and is hoped to catch both shoppers and young children during the summer holidays.

Around two thirds of fires in Hastings are caused by cooking, either by becoming distracted by phone calls, family or even falling asleep, as well as leaving combustibles, such as tea towels, too close to the hob.

Station Manager Paul Way said: “So whatever happens elsewhere in the house, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.

“This event will be a good opportunity to talk to people about safety and in particular cooking safety, as this is our biggest cause of Accidental Dwelling Fire in the Borough and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service wishes to be pro-active in its approach in tackling the issue.”

With the summer holidays in full swing, many children across Hastings will be spending more time in the kitchen.

But whether they’re lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know the hazards of a hot hob.

So as part of the Fire Kills campaign, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking parents and carers to incorporate any kitchen activities with a chance for kids learn this summer.

Station Manager Way added: “From bake-offs to barbeques, there are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety this summer. And, it’s absolutely vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen.

“So alongside the melting, mixing and making, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety knowhow? Test your smoke alarm as part of the activity. And remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.”

And the kids don’t have to be in the kitchen to change the way you work in the summer. Distraction while cooking is a main cause of fire call-outs right across the country. 

The Fire Kills campaign’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen this summer are:

  • 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 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 - leads and appliances away from water and place grills and 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.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.

For more information on fire safety, please visit www.facebook.com/firekills

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