Most accidental fires at home are started in the kitchen.
Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or have left items unattended. Research indicates that people who had experienced kitchen fires said the fire had started because they had become distracted, for example they received a phone call or answered the door.
With the summer holidays in full swing, many children across East Sussex will be spending more time in the kitchen during the day. Whether they’re lending a hand or simply making a snack, it’s important to make sure that theyknow the hazards and what action to take if they discover a fire.
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are asking parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance to reinforce the Fire Safety message for all the family over the summer period, including barbecue safety.
Steve Wright, Community Fire Safety Team Manager, said: “There are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety this summer. However, it’s also important to be aware that children may provide a distraction when cooking and it’s absolutely vital that everyone knows what to do if the worst should happen (Get Out, Stay Out, Call us Out 999).
“Why not take the chance to pass on fire safety tips? Test your smoke alarm and reaffirm your family escape plan as part of this activity. And remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob / barbecue, and help keep them safe by moving matches and lighters out of reach of their enquiring minds.”
Cooking safety advice:
- 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.
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
- Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
- Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
Barbecue safety advice:
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
- Never leave a barbecue unattended.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. Never use a barbecue indoors or in a tent.
- Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on coal.
- Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and start a fire.
Deep fat frying advice:
- Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily.
- Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
- If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
- Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer. They can’t overheat.
What to do if a pan catches fire:
- Don’t take any risks. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over it.
- Don’t tackle the fire yourself – Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.
Kitchen electrical advice:
- Keep electrics (leads and appliances) away from water.
- Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
- Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.