Fire Service

Cooking Fire Safety Messages

Throughout February West Midlands Fire Service will be carrying out a Safety Campaign to make people more aware of the hazards when cooking. Similar to previous years’ statistics, the 2011-12 fire statistics reported that cooking fires make up half of all accidental fires in the home in England – 15,509 out of 30,709 (50.5%).  Fires from cooking appliances also account for over half of all non-fatal accidental dwelling fire casualties – 3,325 out of 6,335 (52.4%).Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 13.20.19

Key dates in February when people are encouraged to get involved with cooking and be more creative are:

National Chip Week – 17th-23rd February

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 13.22.57National Chip Week is a promotional week designed to celebrate potatoes and chips as a national food. The Week encourages people to enjoy chips in all shapes and sizes –from homemade to takeaway, frozen from the supermarket to those enjoyed in restaurants.

The Week, which takes place between 17th and 23rd February, provides an ideal opportunity to discuss kitchen fire safety messages and in particular those relating to chip pans:

  • Take care when cooking with oil – it sets alight easily.
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot.  Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer for chips.  They can’t overheat.
  • Do not leave cooking unattended and avoid children being alone in the kitchen when cooking on the hob.
  • Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one third full.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.

What to do if a pan catches fire:

  • Don’t take any risks.  Turn the heat off if it is safe to do so.  NEVER throw water over Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 13.24.09it.
  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself – Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.

For more information on the light-hearted Week and its celebrations of the chip, please visit the website: http://chips.lovepotatoes.co.uk/.

We like to encourage people to take part in these activities but at the same time stay safe and follow the safety advice below.

How to cook safely

  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob.  Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked off the stove.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn the heat right down to avoid risk.

Take care with electrics

  • Keep electrics (leads and appliances) away from water.
  • 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 easily lead to a fire.

Deep fat frying

  • Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
  • If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot.  Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer.  They can’t overheat.

What to do if a pan catches fire:

  • Don’t take any risks.  Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so.  Never throw water over it.
  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself – Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.

Also in March this year a bit later than previous years is:

4th March – Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)

Shrove Tuesday marks the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of fasting and prayer called Lent, observed by followers of many Christian denominations.  Shrove Tuesday is therefore the last day of eating ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs – particularly when combined in pancakes. Consumption of these foods was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting, associated with Lent.

Shrove Tuesday is therefore a day when a number of people cook with oil and pans and therefore we would like people to follow the safety advice below to ensure they have an enjoyable but safe Pancake Day.

West Midlands Fire Service offer FREE Home Safety Checks. You can receive a visit by your local Fire fighters and get advice and guidance on cooking, electrical safety, night time routines, planning escape routes in case of fire and much more. You may even qualify for a FREE smoke alarm to be fitted.

If you or someone you know would like a free Home Safety Check, please ring FREEPHONE 0800 389 5525 to arrange a suitable appointment and quote: “Partnership reference 811”.

For any other general enquiries regarding Fire Service activities and Fire Safety advice, please contact: Watch Commander Lee Sketchley or Crew Commander Neil Rooker at Smethwick Fire Station 0121 380 7533.

 

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