Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Hard hitting kitchen safety campaign

Don’t become the killer in your kitchen. That is the stark warning Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will be taking to shoppers over the next few weeks.

A hard hitting video will warn shoppers at Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock, The Eastgate Centre in Basildon and The Royals in Southend.

Senior Divisional Officer Julian Ashley, Safer Communities, said: “The kitchen is a major flashpoint for fires. More house fires start in the kitchen than any other room so we are launching a hard hitting campaign to make people aware of just how important it is to stay safe in the kitchen.

“The main cause of kitchen fires is distraction. We know how easy it is to become distracted in the kitchen, busy family lives, phones, tablets, computers and television combine to make people lose their focus in the kitchen and that is when potentially deadly fires can start.

“Cooking might be an everyday activity but it is a major cause of fires in the home and it is vital that people do not get distracted when they are cooking.

“Just a moment’s distraction could lead to a fire which turns you into the killer in your kitchen.”

More than half of the house fires ECFRS crews deal with start in the kitchen and cooking is responsible for nearly a third of all the County’s house fires.

To make sure you stay as safe as possible in the kitchen:
•Avoid leaving cooking unattended and never leave children in the kitchen alone.
•Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – they can easily catch fire.
•Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
•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 ignite a fire.
•Take care when cooking with hot oil – it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Ideally cook oven chips but if you are deep fat frying then use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer - they can’t overheat.
•Never try to cook after a night out drinking. It is far better to grab a kebab on the way home than to attempt to cook while intoxicated.

The video will be on display at special information stands in Lakeside from Monday January 13 until Sunday January 19, at Eastgate on Monday January 20 until Sunday January 26 and then at The Royals from January 27 until Sunday February 2.

The Killer in the Kitchen campaign will be gaining momentum in the coming months with a co-ordinated advertising campaign including posters, bus backs and cinema advertising as well as being featured in the Service’s social media channels.

The campaign will focus on different ‘at risk’ groups to build on the targeted intervention already being carried out by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.


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