Wednesday, 17 August 2022
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Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Put safety first when cooking up summer feasts

WITH the summer holidays here, many children across Herefordshire and Worcestershire will now be spending time in the kitchen.

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

In the ten-year period from 1 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2021 in our two counties, 2,377 fires started in the kitchen and there were sadly five fatalities.

There were 17 incidents where the victim went to hospital with serious injuries, and nearly 100 incidents needed a hospital visit with slight injuries. Also, first aid was given at the scene of 125 incidents.

For all these, cookers, grills/toasters and rings/hot plates were the top three reasons for incidents.

So, as part of the Fire Kills campaign, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is asking parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance for kids to learn this summer.

Station Commander Sara Hall, from the HWFRS Prevention department, said:

“From bake-offs to barbecues, there are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety this summer. And it’s vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen.

“So as well as melting, mixing and baking, why not take the opportunity to remember your home fire safety? Test your smoke alarms as part of the activity – make it part of your routine, like washing your hands. And remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.

“And it’s not just the kids who could spark risks – a simple distraction such as a phone call or answering the door while cooking are major causes of fire call-outs right across the country.”

Sara added:

“Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen – so whatever else is happening in the house, please stay focused and always keep one eye on the hob or oven.

“The Fire Kills campaign’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen this summer are:

  • If you need to leave the kitchen while cooking take pans off the heat or turn off
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
  • Loose clothing can easily catch fire when cooking, especially near naked flames
  • Don’t leave children in the kitchen alone when cooking.  Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe
  • Take care with electrics – leads and appliances away from water and place grills and away from curtains and kitchen rolls
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order.  A build-up of fat and grease are the main culprits in kitchen fires
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol
  • Hot oil catches fire easily – change oil regularly, dirty oil overheats at lower temperature and never fill a pan above one-third – and NEVER throw water on a chip pan fire
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999
  • Get at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly

“You can find out more about fire safety at hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/, and you can contact our Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155 to see if you might qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit.

“You can also complete a FREE online Home Fire Safety Check now by following the link on our website.”

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