Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Firefighters hope to drive down cooking-related fires outside Morrisons

Hastings firefighters are teaming up with Morrisons to talk to shoppers about cooking safely and demonstrate the dangers of chip pans.

The event is scheduled to take place outside the store, in Queen’s Road, this Friday 6th September from 11am until 2pm. Firefighters will show what can happen if a chip pan catches alight and how best to deal with it.

Morrisons will be handing out around 200 free bags of oven chips, on a first-come first-served basis, during the event!

More than two thirds of accidental dwelling fires in St Leonard's involve cooking, with people often 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 fires in the Borough and we want to be pro-active in its approach in tackling the issue.”

Parents are also being encouraged to pass on safety tips to children, so they are aware of the dangers in the kitchen environment.

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.

Station Manager Way added: “From bake-offs to barbeques, there are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety. 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 know how? 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.”

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 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.

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