Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have asked people to take care with their cooking after five kitchen fires occurred across the county over the New Year.
On New Year’s Day, Luton crews were called to two incidents – a fire in a microwave oven in which oxygen was given to the occupant, and another small fire in the kitchen of a ground floor flat in the town where breathing apparatus was used for a casualty suffering from smoke inhalation.
The same day also saw crews attend a fire in Clapham caused by a chip pan, while on New Year’s Eve there were two kitchen fires in high rise buildings in Bedford. The first was caused by the occupant falling asleep whilst cooking, the second was a small kitchen fire where the occupier was treated for minor burns.
Chloe Forde, Community Fire Safety Officer said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen.
“It can be because of distractions like phone calls, family or sometimes it can be cooking late night snacks, especially after a few drinks, when it is much easier to fall asleep with something left cooking on the hob.
“So whatever happens elsewhere in the house, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven and take care when cooking.
“Most importantly make sure that your home has working smoke alarms.”
Other top tips:
> Always take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid the risk of fire if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking.
> If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
> When you’ve finished cooking double check the hob is completely off.
> Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
> Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
> Keep matches and saucepan handles out of children’s reach and don’t leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking.
> Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water
> Place grills and hot pans away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
> A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire so keep kitchen equipment clean and in good working order.
> Never cook after drinking alcohol.
> Be careful that hot cooking oil doesn’t overheat as it can catch fire easily.
> Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
> In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
> Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.
For more information on fire safety visit www.bedsfire.com