Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Keep the spark in your relationship and out of the kitchen this Valentine's Day

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to take extra care if planning to cook a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at home. 

The Service is asking budding romantics to be careful in the kitchen and when using candles to avoid firefighters gate-crashing their date.

The advice comes as part of a month-long campaign advising Essex residents how they can reduce the risk of having a cooking-related house fire.

Will Newman, Head of Prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “You won’t want us intruding on your date night so please take extra care when cooking and using candles this Valentine’s Day.

“Each year more than half of all accidental house fires are caused by cooking. These types of fires can cause the most injuries and sadly, some have been fatal. 

“Cooking fires generally start when people are distracted or careless in the kitchen and can easily be avoided by taking simple precautions.”

To stay safe this Valentine's Day, follow ECFRS' safety advice: 

  • Keep a close eye on your cooking and take pans off the heat or turn them down if you need to leave the kitchen
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999  
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking  
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe  
  • Keep your cooking equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol  
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn’t overheat. Never throw water on an oil fire  
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly 
  • Consider using LED candles instead of real candles, they are much safer
  • If you are using real candles, never leave them burning unattended. Blow them out every time you need to leave the room

For more home fire safety advice, visit: 

Page last updated 11 February 2022

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