Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Firefighters issue safety advice after cooking left unattended in fourth floor flat

Brook Street, Chelmsford
17/03/2019 @ 09:53
Incident Number: 96833
In attendance: 2 x Chelmsford, 1 x Witham, 1 x Brentwood

Firefighters have issued safety advice after cooking was left unattended in a fourth floor flat this afternoon.

The cooking, which had been left on the hob by occupants who had then left the property, had caused a build-up of smoke which spread throughout the flat and into the shared hallway.

Fortunately, neighbours were alerted by the smoke alarm from inside the flat. Firefighters gained access to the property and then used positive pressure ventilation fans to clear the accumulated smoke.

Nick Singleton, Watch Manager at Chelmsford Fire Station, said: "This incident could easily have been much more serious - and was caused by a careless mistake.

"Please, if you're cooking, don't leave it unattended - but if you need to leave the room, take it off the hob or turn the heat down so there's no risk of a fire developing while you're not there.

"Firefighters have done a fantastic job here today of quickly getting to the flat in question and isolating this before it could spread - but please, don't run the risk."


Cooking safety advice

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • 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.


Not got a smoke alarm fitted?

We want every home in Essex to be provided with the excellent protection that smoke alarms offer. As in this case, smoke alarms can alert you to a fire and give you a chance to escape your home safely.

To arrange your FREE fitting, call 0300 303 0088 or visit

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