East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to consider alternatives to cooking at home during the latest industrial action by firefighters this Saturday (19 October).
Members of the Fire Brigades Union walk out between 6.30pm and 11.30pm – a time when many people are cooking dinner or preparing an after-pub snack.
But statistics show more than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking, and drinking alcohol can put you at even greater risk in the kitchen.
Steve Wright, Community Safety Team Manager, said: “Although we will have emergency cover in place during the strike and trained and professional crews will respond to emergencies, we are urging members of the public to do their bit and take steps to stay safe – particularly if they’ve been out and about on the town.
“We know that drinking alcohol can lead to fires in the home. Being drunk can also affect your ability to respond if there is a fire, even if there is a working smoke alarm in the property. If you’ve had a drink and fancy a snack, think carefully and consider whether a takeaway might be the safest option.”
If you decide it’s safe to cook, please follow our simple advice:
- If you need to leave the kitchen, take pans off the heat.
- 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.
- Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked off the stove.
Remember to make sure that you have a working smoke alarm on each floor in your property too. In the event of a fire, you are four times more likely to get out alive if you have one.
Further advice on fire safety while cooking and smoke alarms is available on our website.
This weekend’s strike by firefighters is part of a national dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government over pensions. The first period of industrial action took place between midday and 4.00pm on Wednesday 26th September.