Clamp down on kitchen clutter this summer

Fri 24 Jul, 2015

With the summer holidays in full swing, many children across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes will be spending more time in the kitchen. 

But whether they’re lending a hand, hunting for a snack or simply coming to tell you they're bored, it’s important to make sure they know the hazards of a hot hob.

As part of the latest national Fire Kills campaign, firefighters are asking parents and carers to try to turn cooking activities into learning opportunities for young people, and to emphasise the importance of keeping a clean and tidy kitchen. 

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, often because of distractions like phone calls or family, or because someone has forgotten to put something away. So whatever happens elsewhere in the house, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.

"There are lots of creative ways to teach children about cooking fire safety while they are at home over summer, and it’s vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen. This is the ideal time to pass on your fire safety know-how."

Richard’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen this summer are: 

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen while cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • Never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches, lighters and saucepan handles out of their reach.
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Keep work surfaces clean, tidy and clear of clutter, and don't use your hob as an extra storage area.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
  • Take care with electrics  keep leads and appliances away from water.
  • Keep 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 ignite a fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer. They can’t overheat.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Get out, stay out and call 999.