Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Don't let your cooking turn into a kitchen nightmare

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are urging everyone to stay safe while cooking at home to avoid having a kitchen nightmare. 

Each year cooking causes more accidental fire in the home than anything else. And it’s not just kitchens that are being destroyed. Cooking-related fires tend to result in the most injuries and the second most fatalities. 

Will Newman, Head of Prevention said: “With the country in another lockdown and our favourite restaurants and café temporarily shut, everyone is now cooking more at home which is increasing the risk of fire. But something as simple as setting timers for your cooking could help reduce the risk of fire.  

“Every month we get called to a number of fires which start after someone has become distracted and forget they have food cooking. Distractions can be anything from a phone call or simply leaving the kitchen to watch television, but whatever it is that takes your attention away from cooking could become deadly."

We want everyone to remind everyone of the dangers of fire while cooking to ensure they keep themselves and family safe. 

To avoid a fire in your kitchen follow our simple 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 
  • 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 
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob. 
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire 
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe 
  • Take care with electrics – keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls 
  • Keep your 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 a chip pan fire 
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place 
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly 
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