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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.

Fire quote

To protect you and your family, it’s essential that your home has working smoke alarms that are regularly tested.