Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Cooking left unattended on hob - firefighters issue safety advice

Inverness Avenue, Westcliff
11/06/2019 @ 20:38
Incident Number: 102210
In attendance: 2 x Southend

Firefighters have issued fire safety advice after they were called by concerned neighbours to a house full of smoke in Westcliff last night (Tuesday 11 June).

When fire crews arrived, they reported the kitchen was heavily smoke logged. Firefighters gained access to the property and removed a burning pan from on top of the hob. The occupants were not home at the time.

The property had working smoke alarms - which alerted the neighbours to the fire.

Crew Manager Kim Polley, Southend Fire Station said:

"It is thanks to their working smoke alarm that this didn't turn into a really serious and damaging house fire. Working smoke alarms can not only alert the occupants to a fire, but often they alert neighbours and passersby to a fire, and the sooner we are called the less damage that is caused.

"Over 75% of all accidental house fires in Essex start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So whatever happens elsewhere in your house, always make sure you don't leave your cooking unattended and check everything is off before your leave your house."

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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