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Fire safety in the home


More fires and fire injuries are caused by carelessness in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.

  • Avoid leaving cooking unattended
  • If you have to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, it’s safer to take pans off the heat and turn off the hob and/or grill
  • Don’t cook if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that might make you drowsy
  • Loose clothing can easily catch fire – take care not to lean over a hot hob and keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
  • Keep the oven, hob, cooker hood and grill clean, and in good working order
  • A build-up of fat and grease can ignite and cause a fire
  • Use spark devices to light gas cookers
  • Double check the cooker and hob are turned off when you’ve finished cooking
  • Check toasters are clean and not placed under kitchen cabinets or close to anything that can catch fire.

If a pan catches fire

  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself and don’t attempt to move the pan
  • Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so
  • Never throw water over a fire as it could create a fireball
  • Leave the room, close the door, shout a warning to others and call the fire brigade by dialling 999.

Deep fat frying

  • Take extra care when cooking with hot oil as it can easily overheat and catch fire
  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil
  • Make sure food is dry before putting in hot oil
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool
  • Use an electronic deep fat fryer if possible – they have automatic temperature controls

Outdoor cooking

  • Never use a barbeque (BBQ) including disposable, indoors or on a balcony
  • Position your BBQ on level ground and keep it well away from anything that may catch fire (sheds, fences, trees, tents etc)
  • Never use petrol, paraffin or biofuel to get the BBQ going or revive it
  • Never take a BBQ into a tent, awning, caravan or motorhome. Even when cooling it will give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes which can kill.