Stay alert, stay alive - take care whilst cooking

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Stay alert, stay alive — take care whilst cooking

Due to an increase in fires involving cooking appliances over the past couple of days Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are warning residents to take special care when cooking.

Firefighters were called to a number of incidents last week , one of which involved unattended cooking which had caught fire and filled the premises with toxic smoke which had to be cleared by firefighters before the accommodation was safe to re-enter. Crews used a hose reel jet to extinguish another cooker fire in the same area.

After seeing an escalation in these type of incidents firefighters want to make people aware that these fires can be prevented by staying alert whilst cooking. Carrying out safety procedures before and after cooking, such as cleaning the grill pan after using and making simple changes such as using a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer instead of a chip pan can also make a real difference.

The Service has attended 51 kitchen fires across Cheshire in the last two months, over 70% of which were caused by cooking appliances.

Nick Evans, Head of Prevention, said: "Unfortunately a lot of accidental fires are started through careless cooking. A forgotten pot on a high heat or an overfilled pan of oil can quickly turn a culinary delight into a matter of life and death.

"Statistically, most accidental house fires start in the kitchen so we are urging everyone take care and take few simple steps to keep you and your loved ones safe."

Top tips for cooking include:
Always clean the grill pan after using it to avoid a build-up of fat and oil in your grill pan
Do not leave cooking unattended — a forgotten pan can lead to disaster
If cooking oil starts to smoke, it's too hot — turn off the heat and leave it to cool
Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer instead of a chip pan as they can't overheat
Keep tea towels and cloths away from grills and hobs
Don't start cooking if you have had alcohol or are really tired.

What to do if a pan catches fire:
Don't take any risks. Turn the heat off if it is safe to do so.
NEVER throw water over it. Don't tackle the fire yourself — Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.

Steve added: "I would also urge people to make sure that they have a working smoke alarm installed. If there is a fire, a smoke alarm will warn you, giving you and everyone in your home time to escape to safety."

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