Cooking fires spark safety warningPosted
A Senior Fire Safety Officer is warning of the dangers of leaving cooking unattended and appealing to residents to look out for elderly family and neighbours over the festive period after firefighters attended four kitchen fires since Saturday.
Crews were called to a kitchen fire at a flat on Gwindy Street, Rhuddlan at 04.45hrs on Saturday morning (19th December). The fire was caused by cooking left unattended and one casualty was given a precautionary check up at the scene for smoke inhalation.
At 16.15hrs on the Sunday, crews were called to a chip pan fire at a property on Edward Henry Street, Rhyl. Three adults and three children escaped from the fire and had precautionary checks at the scene by paramedics.
A few hours later, at 19.07hrs, firefighters attended Glan Seiont, Caernarfon to another chip pan left unattended. One female had a precautionary check at the scene.
Crews were called out again this morning (Monday) at 09.51hrs to the High Street, Dolgellau to a kitchen fire caused by a towel left on a toaster. One casualty was treated at the scene for superficial burns.
Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: “"Time and time again we attend house fires which have started in the kitchen - it's so easy to forget your cooking, especially if you are tired, distracted or have been drinking. However, the consequences can be devastating.
"Our message is clear - never turn your back on your cooking, even for a minute. Leaving any cooking, but especially a chip pan, unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results. The oil in the chip pan can easily overheat and ignite - even the smallest distraction could lead to a fire in a matter of moments. Oven chips are safer as well as being healthier, but if you do choose to deep fat fry please don't leave the pan unattended. If your chip pan does ignite, don't throw water over it. Get out, stay out and call 999. Never tackle a fire yourself. Better still - throw away your old style chip pan altogether and use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer.
“Also, check toasters are clean and placed away from anything that can catch fire. Do not cook after a drink and make sure you have a smoke alarm.
"Smoke alarms save lives. I’d ask everyone to consider elderly or vulnerable family or neighbours, and ensure they are safe too. The early warning provided by a smoke alarm can provide vital minutes to help them escape unharmed. We’ve had a number of incidents recently involving older people cooking or trying to keep warm and it’s vital that we as a community look after the more vulnerable amongst us.
“For a free home safety check call our 24 hour freephone number on 0800 169 1234, e-mail email@example.com log on to our website www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text 88365, ensuring you prefix your message with the word HFSC."
Top tips for safety in the kitchen:
- If you leave the room take the cooking off the heat
- Don't use matches or lighters to light gas cookers. Spark devices are safer
- Always make sure that any handles are turned away from the edge of the cooker
- Keep the over, hob and grill clean - a build up fat and grease can easily catch fire
- Never hang anything to dry above the cooker
- Take care if you are wearing loose clothing as it can easily catch fire
- When you've finished cooking make sure everything is turned off
- Turn off electrical appliances when they are not being used
- Never use a chip pan - use a thermostatically controlled deep far fryer
- Never cook after drinking- get a takeaway instead
- Get fitted with smoke alarms - they are free of charge and could save your life.