More than one third of all accidental domestic fires in Northamptonshire last year were caused by cooking.
In the financial year 2017 to 2018, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) attended 372 accidental fires in people’s homes and 135 of these (36 per cent) were linked to cooking. 20 fires were caused by chip pans or deep fat fryers.
Nationally, fires from cooking appliances consistently result in about half of all accidental fires in the home.
Distractions of school holidays
With the distractions of school holidays upon us, NFRS would like to urge people across Northamptonshire to please remember key safety tips when cooking at home.
Tina Collett, of the Prevention and Community Protection Department, said: “The school holidays present families with plenty of distractions, so this is an ideal time to remind people in Northamptonshire about the ways in which they can keep themselves safe in the kitchen.
“Cooking is such an everyday activity for so many people, so it is easy to forget how many risks there are associated with it. We would urge people not to allow themselves to be distracted when cooking, never to leave cooking unattended and to take safety steps such as ensuring their ovens, grill pans and hobs are kept clean. Food, fat and oil remnants left in cooking areas can easily catch fire.”
Top 10 cooking safety tips
- Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when food is cooking on the hob. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
- Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out, so they don’t get knocked off the stove.
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing as this can easily catch fire.
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
- Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
- Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
- Take care when cooking with hot oil, it sets alight easily.
- Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
- If cooking oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
- Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer, they can’t overheat.
People are advised not to take any risks if a pan catches fire. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so, never throw water over the fire. Don’t tackle the fire yourself – get out, stay out and call 999.