Today is the beginning of Fire Kills’ National Cooking Safety Week.
Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the campaign, which aims to reduce preventable deaths through raising awareness of fire safety.
Each year, more accidental fires in the home are caused by cooking than anything else.
Many people are spending more time at home due to the current pandemic and are cooking much more. As well as this, a lot of parents have the added distractions of home-schooling.
Distraction whilst cooking is a main cause of fire call outs right across the country.
Cooking-related fires tend to result in the most non-fatal casualties and the second most fatalities.
As part of the national fire safety campaign, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging parents and carers to make kitchen activities a chance for all the household to learn about cooking safety.
Whether the kids are lending a hand to cook a meal or simply seeking a snack, it is important to make sure everyone knows the hazards in a kitchen.
Head of community safety at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Craig Drinkald said: “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 and mixing, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety know-how?
“Test your smoke alarms 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.
“Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen – often because of distractions like phone calls, home-schooling the kids or a new notification on the phone.
“So, whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are:
- Don’t leave cooking unattended.
- If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get out, stay out and call 999.
- 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 children’s 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.
- 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.
- Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly.