Stay safe in your kitchen

Cooking is the main cause of accidental fires in the home and as part of a month-long campaign Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) is urging Liverpool residents to stay safe in the kitchen.

In Liverpool, firefighters have attended 526 accidental dwelling fires involving cooking since January 2013.

Almost half of accidental house fires attended by firefighters in Merseyside are caused by cooking and during the school holidays parents are especially urged to ensure children are safe in the kitchen.

Three people have died in Merseyside following accidental house fires involving cooking and 145 people have been injured, since January 2013.

Since the beginning of 2013, MF&RS has attended 1333 accidental house fires in Merseyside caused by cooking, which is around 47% of accidental house fires. Of those there were 559 in 2013, 486 in 2014 and so far in 2015 there have been 288 incidents.

While the number of accidental fires in the home involving cooking dropped in 2014 compared to 2013 across Merseyside, cooking is still the main cause of accidental fires in the home.

MF&RS is supporting the national Fire Kills campaign throughout August to highlight fire safety when cooking food.

Residents are urged to never leave food cooking unattended and not to get distracted while food is on the hob.

Parents are urged to teach their children about fire safety in the kitchen and to be mindful that children could cause a distraction while cooking. Children should never be left alone in the kitchen when food is cooking and pan handles should not be left sticking out over the cooker.

People should avoid cooking when tired and be careful not to fall asleep while a pan is cooking on the hob or food is in the oven.

Tea towels should be kept away from the hob, toasters should be kept away from curtains and people are urged to double check the cooker is switched off after use.

People should also avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol. Students returning to university or living alone for the first time in September are also reminded to take care in the kitchen.

Water should never be poured on a pan fire and people should never attempt to tackle a fire themselves. In the event of a fire, people are urged to get out, stay out and call 999.

People using barbecues in the garden should never leave food cooking unattended and never bring a barbecue indoors.

Group Manager Gary Oakford said: “Fires in the home most commonly start in the kitchen and in some cases they can have very serious consequences.

“Not only can they result in fatalities and injuries but even smaller fires can cause significant damage to a property. Many fires in the kitchen can be prevented by following our simple advice.

“People should not take any risks and should never attempt to tackle a fire. They should get out, stay out and call 999.

“A working smoke alarm can give the early warning to a fire and give the vital seconds to escape a property. Smoke alarms should be fitted on each floor of a property and tested each week.

“I would also urge people to think about what they would do in the event of a fire and to have an escape route planned.”

For free fire safety advice or to request a Home Fire Safety Check for yourself or someone else call 0800 731 5958 or visit www.merseyfire.gov.uk .