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Safety First In The Kitchen This Summer


With the summer holidays in full swing, many children across Derbyshire will be spending more time at home and potentially more time in or around the kitchen. 

With over 50% of all accidental house fires starting in the kitchen, whether they are lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure children know the hazards of a hot hob, and ensure they don’t cause a distraction that could lead to a disaster. 

On the 29 July a large fire gutted a flat in a converted farm building in Belper, Derbyshire. This fire, alongside 208 fires during 2014/15, started in the kitchen.  On this particular occasion a frying pan, which was momentarily left unattended, quickly caught fire and wreaked devastation.  Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service alongside the fire kills campaign, is therefore asking parents and carers to take extra care in the kitchen, no matter how fraught it may become this summer and if possible spend some time educating children in respect of kitchen fire and home fire safety. 

DFRS Area Manager Alex Johnson said: “With modern lifestyles and busy families, it is simple to see how easy it is to become distracted in the kitchen; but this split second distraction could lead to a disaster.  

“Fire can break out in a matter of seconds, so we are asking everyone to be more vigilant and follow some basic fire prevention advice to keep safe this summer.  We are also encouraging parents and careers to spend some time explaining to children, how quickly fire can break out and what they can do to help prevent this”. 

Here are our top tips for staying safe in the kitchen: 

  • NEVER leave cooking unattended.  Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk. 
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks!  Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999. 
  • Double check the hobs and grills are switched off when you’ve finished cooking. 
  • Keep tea towels, cloths and kitchen roll away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking.  Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics - keep leads and appliances away from water.
  • 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.
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
  • NEVER throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it weekly.
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place and ensure everyone in the family is aware of it. 
  • NEVER take a risk and tackle a fire yourself.  Get out, stay out and call 999. 

For more information on fire safety in the kitchen and at home, please visit alternatively

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