Welcome from the Chief
Be a safe cook!
More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room in the home – last year, our firefighters attended 175 cooking related fires. For this reason, I’m appealing to all residents to keep an eye on your cooking and avoid drunken disasters at the stove.
The six nations rugby tournament kicked off this month, and with many fans enjoying the game over a few pints in the pub or a couple of cans in the comfort of their armchair, I feel it’s timely for me to issue an important reminder about the dangers of cooking after drinking.
Time and time again our firefighters are called to house fires in the region which have started after residents have become distracted in the kitchen or lose concentration after a drink, with serious and sometimes tragic consequences.
Cooking and drinking simply don’t mix
Remember, cooking and drinking simply don’t mix – you can avoid a recipe for disaster by making yourself a sandwich before enjoying a drink or simply getting a take away instead. This really could save your life.
Also, with important dates like Valentines Day, National Chip Week and Shrove Tuesday this month, I know that many of you may be hoping to demonstrate your cooking skills.
Stand by your pan!
One important mantra to repeat when cooking is ‘Stand by your pan!’ – if you leave the room, remove the pan from the heat. Within minutes a fire can start and spread from a small blaze to a life threatening one. When you have finished cooking, make sure that all the appliances are turned off and the cooking area is clear.
Old style chip pans are extremely dangerous - leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite. To highlight the risks associated with using chip pans, we are promoting a ‘Ban the Pan’ campaign across social media during National Chip week (16th – 23rd Feb) – follow #banthepan on Twitter and keep an eye out for a competition on Facebook @Northwalesfireservice.
Don’t tackle a fire yourself – get out, stay out, call 999
Making pancakes can be lots of fun for the whole family however when frying or cooking with hot oil it is vitally important not to leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on. If the worst happens and the pan catches fire, do not attempt to move it. Don’t take any risks – just turn off the heat if it is safe to do so and get out, stay out and call 999. As with all fire situations, our advice is to never try to tackle it yourself.
Last month we launched a new campaign to remind people to test their smoke alarms with a new video asking communities to think about when they do it – as in when do they test their smoke alarm.
A working smoke alarm will greatly increase your chances of escaping unharmed from a fire in your home. It’s vital that you test your alarm regularly – there is information on how to do this on our website and you can view our video on our Facebook and YouTube pages.
As well as testing your smoke alarms every week – make sure you have an escape plan and follow it.
Call before you burn!
We continue to work hard to promote safe controlled burning to ensure landowners and farmers act responsibly and notify us when conducting their burn.
We’re visiting livestock markets again this month to urge all landowners undertaking controlled burning to notify us by calling our control room on 01931 522006.
This helps avoid false alarms and fire crews being sent out unnecessarily, as well as ensuring we are ready to respond in the event of a burn getting out of control.
So remember - follow the Welsh Government’s Heather and Grass Burning Code.
I’d personally like to thank all those who take the time to contact us before undertaking a burn on their land and encourage others to follow this example.