07 March 2011

Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is reminding people to stay safe this Shrove Tuesday.

From April 2010 to January 2011 a third of fires in Northamptonshire homes were cooking-related so Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is offering some simple advice to make sure everyone can enjoy a tasty pancake whilst staying safe.

The fire and rescue service recommends that when using a frying pan or cooking with hot oil, to remember:

  • Never leave a pan unattended if the heat is switched on, take the pan off the heat if you are called away by a phone call or to answer the door
  • Take care when wearing loose clothing and make sure items such as tea towels that could easily catch fire are kept well away
  • Don’t cook if you have been drinking alcohol or taking prescription drugs - you may get drowsy or loose concentration
  • Avoid over filling a pan or deep-fat fryer more than one-third full of oil
  • Never put food in a pan if the oil begins to give off smoke, take the pan off the heat immediately until the oil has cooled right down

If a pan does catch fire don’t take any risks:

  • Don’t be tempted to tackle a fire yourself
  • Turn off the heat immediately, but only if it is safe to do so
  • Don’t put water onto a fire involving oil as it could cause a fireball
  • If an electrical appliance catches fire don’t throw water onto it
  • In the event of a fire GET OUT, STAY OUT, CALL 999

Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson said “One home fire in the county is one too many. Many of the incidents we respond to are due to people not following safety prevention advice which ends up with a fire breaking out in the home. As a service we want to help people in the county avoid fire starting in their home by informing them about fire safety.”

If a fire breaks out in your home a working smoke alarm can greatly increase the chance of escaping unharmed. To be most effective there should be at least one alarm on each floor of the house. Make an escape plan which anyone in the property knows including young children. If there is a fire everyone will then know exactly which way to safely leave the house.

Stay alive, stay safe, and make sure your smoke alarm works properly:

  • Test the alarm weekly
  • Change the battery every year (unless it's a 10 year alarm)
  • Clean the alarm out properly at least twice each year, by vacuuming the inside.

For further advice on home and cooking fire safety people can contact Northamptonshire fire and rescue service on 01604 797000.