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15 January 2021

Top tips for staying safe in the kitchen

During lockdown, many people across Cumbria will be spending more time in the kitchen with their children and families. Whether lending a hand or seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that everyone understands the hazards of a hot hob, and kitchen fire safety.

Following recent incidents involving kitchen fires, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging residents to make kitchen activities a chance for the whole family to learn about cooking safety.

Craig Drinkald, Area Manager for Prevention at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“There are lots of creative ways to teach yourself and your children about fire safety in the kitchen, and it’s vital that you 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 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.”

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

Craig continued:

“Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls or family. 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:
  • 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 - 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 monthly. 
Kitchen fire safety is particularly important for vulnerable people, and the elderly, especially when they may be feeling more isolated due to the pandemic restrictions. CFRS want to make sure you and your neighbours feel supported and confident during this time. Please help us to help you by sharing our fire safety advice with your relatives and neighbours.

To ensure the safety of the public and staff during the current lockdown, CFRS has taken the decision to temporarily postpone most Home Fire Safety Visits, except for those where the occupants are identified as being at very high risk.

If you are unsure if your smoke alarms are in working order or you would like further fire safety information, please call Cumbria Fire and Rescue on our Freephone number - 0800 3584777.

Top tips for staying safe in the kitchen