Following on from the success of last year’s cooking safety campaign, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is once again appealing for Lancastrians to cook more safely.Advertisement
The ‘Cook Safe’ campaign began in 2018 carrying the simple message ‘Keep it Clean, Keep it Clear’, which was aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of cooker clutter and grime. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service explain that although these factors are the number one cause of accidental house fires in Lancashire, they are arguably one of the most easily avoided. Here’s how…
Keep it Clean
Grease and food residue can easily ignite, which is why it is essential to ensure that pots, pans and trays are kept clean and free from anything which shouldn’t be there.
It is not uncommon for people to use their cooker to store their baking trays and grill pans, but this can just increase the risk of fire, especially if they are unclean. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service suggests that unless you’re cooking, your oven should remain empty.
Keep it Clear
It is often the case that kitchen fires break out because items are left stored or misplaced on top of cookers, hobs and stoves which are then accidently ignited. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service recommend that people never use their cooker as a means of storage, whilst also bearing in mind that their hob surfaces are capable of retaining heat for hours.
Distractions could be Disastrous
Another major cause of accidental house fires is the risk of distraction; in 2017 people becoming distracted in the kitchen was the cause of more than 29% of all cooking related fires. You can help reduce accidental cooking fires in the home, by keeping to the task at hand. It’s so easy to get distracted, so stay in the room and pay attention. Likewise it’s super easy to accidentally turn on the wrong cooker dial. Food residue and grease can easily ignite, so try to keep on top of your cooker cleaning and if you know someone who perhaps needs a nudge or reminder to do the same then spread the word, you could save them from having a fire.
From January to December 2018, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service was called to 412 cooking related accidental house fires; encouragingly however this figure does represent a 9% decrease in incidents of this nature when compared with the same period previous. It is hoped that if people follow the advice to ‘keep it clean, keep it clear’ and remain aware that ‘distractions could be disastrous’ then this figure will reduce once again for 2019/20.
Although work still needs to be done in terms of changing behaviours and encouraging safer cooking practices, positive progress is undoubtedly being made.
For further advice and guidance on fire safety in the home, including on cooking safety, you can visit www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/cooking.