Whether it’s turning on the wrong dial or accidentally leaving the hob or oven switched on after you’ve finished cooking, simple mistakes can have devastating effects.Advertisement
Around half of all accidental house fires that fire and rescue services attend each year are cooking related fires. Research carried out by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) shows most casualties relating to cooking fires were caused by the person trying to tackle the fire themselves, with 28 casualties in 2019.
This is why LFRS are campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of cooking fires, with the message “Get out. Stay out. Call us out.”
Distractions could be Disastrous
Another major cause of accidental house fires is the risk of distraction; in 2019 people becoming distracted in the kitchen was the cause of 52 per cent of 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 become distracted, so stay in the room and pay attention.
From January to December 2019, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were called to 386 cooking related accidental house fires; encouragingly however we have seen a 7 per cent decrease in cooking incidents compared to 2018. We hope that if people follow the “Get out. Stay out. Call us out.” message and remember distractions could be disastrous, this figure will reduce again for 2020/21.
Group Manager Mark Hutton, the Prevention and Protection lead for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service explains more; “Our data shows that cooking fires can happen to anyone, with at least one kitchen fire occurring every day in Lancashire. We want to see this significantly reduced and an end to injuries.
“The causes of cooking fires are well understood and we really hope people turn our simple messages into lifelong habits… Ensure your household has working smoke alarms, keep your hob clear and clean, and if you do have a fire close the kitchen door, get out, stay out and call us out.
“Remember that over half of all kitchen fires are caused by distraction, the next time the doorbell rings at tea time, of a family member calls you out of the room, please remember to turn off the hob or grill – as well as preventing a kitchen fire, it also means a better meal!”
For further advice and guidance on fire safety in the home, including cooking safety, please visit www.lansfirerescue.org.uk/cooking.