Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Kitchen safety advice for students issued after flat fire

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has issued kitchen safety advice following a fire in a flat which saw two students rescued.

Two crews from Colchester were called to Capstan Place in Colchester in the early hours of this morning (Monday 2 October) after a neighbour heard the smoke alarm going off.

When crews arrived they had to force entry to the flat through a window and then reported a kitchen fire and that two people were still inside the flat.

Richard Lark, Station Officer at Colchester, said:

“Although the smoke alarm was going off the two females in the flat were asleep in their bedrooms and intoxicated from alcohol. My crew woke them up, led them safely outside and gave them first aid before leaving them in the care of the Ambulance Service."

The fire had started after the students left cooking on the hob and fell asleep in their rooms.

Station Officer Lark added:

“Over half of house fires in Essex start in the kitchen. Students are at particular risk of this as over half of the fire deaths in 18-24 year-olds are caused by misusing cooking equipment and carelessly handling hot substances.

“As students return for a new academic year we’re urging them to take care and not put themselves at risk, or worse, end a night out in tragedy.

“The easiest way to stay safe in the kitchen is never to leave cooking unattended, and if you’ve been drinking then just don’t cook – grab a takeaway or prepare something in advance.”

Follow the rest of ECFRS’s kitchen safety advice to stay safe in the kitchen:

  • Ensure all cookers and hobs are turned off after use.
  • Keep hobs, ovens and grills clean as a build-up of fat and grease can catch fire. Remember to empty the crumb tray in your toaster regularly.
  • Keep cooking areas free from rubbish and clutter, even things like tea towels, cookery books, spice racks and knife blocks could pose a fire risk if stored too close to the hob.

You can find the incident details here.

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