Fire safety in the home

Personally, I love to cook. Even though it's a common activity, it can be quite dangerous if done with a blasé attitude towards safety.

This may all seem like obvious advice, but distraction can be a deadly danger in the kitchen. More fires start in the kitchen than any other room and cooking is the most common cause of fires in the home. Last year Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service attended 224 fires associated with cooking.

To make sure you stay as safe as possible in the kitchen:

  • Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated.
  • Avoid leaving cooking unattended. If you have to leave the kitchen to answer the door or send a text, turn off the cooker.
  • Never leave children alone whilst cooking.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – they can easily catch fire. Similarly, keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke, then it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer - they can’t overheat.

And remember: always check you have a working smoke alarm, know your plan in the event of a fire and make sure your family knows the plan back to front. It can save valuable time and lives.