Smoke alarm and kitchen safety reminders after fire

Sun 18 May, 2014

Firefighters are reminding people of the importance of having smoke alarms, and of not being distracted while cooking, following a fire at a house in Milton Keynes yesterday evening (Saturday 17 May).

Crews from Bletchley and Great Holm were called to a kitchen fire in Taunton Deane, Emerson Valley, at 6.46pm.

It was caused by an unattended pan of oil heating on the hob while two adults were in the garden cooking on a barbecue. Six children in the house were able to get out unharmed.

Watch Manager Hayley Jones from Bletchley Fire Station said: “There were no smoke alarms in the house, so the fire was quite well established when crews arrived. It was very close to going into the roof of the ground-floor single-storey extension.

“The kitchen was very badly damaged, and there was light smoke damage to the rest of the house. Luckily the kitchen door was shut.

“It was a very distressing end to what should have been an enjoyable evening for the family and friends. Fortunately no-one was injured.”

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel and a fan to put out the fire and clear the smoke. They fitted three smoke alarms before leaving.

Hayley's top tips for a safe kitchen are:

  • Fit smoke alarms and carry out a regular weekly or monthly check 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 book a free fire safety check.
  • 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.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob, and take care if you are wearing loose clothing.
  • 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 leave children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches, lighters and saucepan handles out of their reach.
  • Don't put anything metal in your microwave oven, and please take care when setting the timer.