Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Stay safe while cooking

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is sharing cooking safety advice after three kitchen fires happened in the same area in one day.

With kitchen fires accounting for a third of all house fires in Essex, the Service is sharing cooking safety advice after three separate kitchen fires related to cooking broke out in the Southend area on Friday, 15 May.

The first fire was in Westcliff where a pan caught alight. The residents did the right thing by getting out of the house, staying out and calling the Fire Service out.

The second call for Southend crews was an oven fire in East Street. Firefighters praised the residents for their quick thinking when shutting the kitchen door before getting out and staying out. This helped to prevent the smoke and fire damaging the rest of the property.

The third incident was more serious, a man had fallen asleep while cooking and did not wake up to the sound of his smoke alarms going off. Luckily, his neighbours acted quickly to call the Fire Service when hearing his smoke alarms going off.

Crews rescued the man from his bedroom and praised his neighbours for their quick actions.

Mark Crouch, Operational and Community Risk Officer said: “We want people to stay safe while staying at home. While cooking, make sure to follow our advice to help keep you and your family safe.

“As well as following our cooking safety advice, make sure to test your smoke alarm regularly. Smoke alarms are proven life savers that can give you and your family an early warning sign to fire.

“If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms at home, we can fit them for free during a free home fire safety visit. Head over to for more information.”

Follow ECFRS’ cooking safety advice to stay safe will cooking:

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen while 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

Page last updated 18 May, 2020

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