Firefighters back kitchen safety campaign

Mon 2 Feb, 2015



Firefighters are backing a national safety campaign, running throughout February, which aims to encourage people to take extra care in the kitchen.

More than half of all accidental house fires in England are caused by mishaps involving cookers, grills, ovens and microwaves.

So far this year, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has attended 13 fires which started in the kitchen (eight in Buckinghamshire and five in Milton Keynes).

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell said: “It only takes a moment’s distraction, such as a phone call or a knock at the door, for a fire to start in your kitchen. We are urging people to put safety first when they are cooking.”

Jason's top tips for a safe kitchen are:

  • Don't start cooking if you are tired or have been drinking alcohol.
  • Keep the oven, hob, grill and toaster clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat, grease or crumbs can lead to a fire.
  • Double-check the cooker is off when you have finished cooking.
  • Don’t leave children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches, lighters and saucepan handles out of their reach.
  • Keep electrical leads, tea towels, dishcloths and other items which could catch fire away from the cooker or hob.
  • Don’t treat your hob as an extension of the kitchen worksurface. Items such as laundry and shopping should not be placed on it.
  • If you need to leave the kitchen while cooking, take pans off the heat or turn the heat right down to avoid risk.
  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.
  • Don't put anything metal in your microwave oven, and please take care when setting the timer.
  • Carry out a regular weekly or monthly check on your smoke alarms by pushing the "test" button. If you don't have smoke alarms, ring Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service on 01296 744477 or send an email to cs@bucksfire.gov.uk