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08 February 2018

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service's top tips for staying safe in the kitchen

During the February half term next week, many children across Cumbria will be spending more time in the kitchen.

But whether they’re lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know about the hazards of a hot hob.

So as part of the national fire safety campaign, Cumbria County Council's Fire & Rescue Service (CFRS) is encouraging parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance for children to learn about cooking safety.

Catherine Moody, Home Accident Reduction Team Leader at CFRS, said: “There are lots of creative ways to teach children about cooking fire safety. And, it’s absolutely vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen.

“So alongside the melting, mixing and making, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety know-how? Test your smoke alarms as part of the activity. And remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach. Ensure the handles to any pan on the hob are not overhanging where it can be a temptation to a child or even get caught by a passing person.”

And children don’t have to be in the kitchen to change the way you work - distraction while cooking is a main cause of fire call-outs right across the country.

Catherine continued: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven. Better still switch it off and then return to it after you have dealt with the other matter demanding your attention.” 

The national fire safety campaign’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are: 

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk. Better still switch them off until you return.
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks - Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing - this can easily catch fire.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics - keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can easily ignite into a fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol. - Don’t drink and fry!!
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly - at least once a month.

For a FREE Safe and Well visit from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service call 0800 358 4777 or visit our website at cumbria.gov.uk to register for a visit.

During the February half term next week, many children across Cumbria will be spending more time in the kitchen.