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Cooking Fires

Around 60% of fires in the home start in the kitchen, but it's easy to enjoy cooking more safely with a little planning and awareness.

Practical steps for safer cooking 

With bubbling pans, open flames and maybe a young child or a pet underfoot, kitchens are potentially dangerous places. Here are our top tips to reduce fire risks:

  1. Do not to leave cooking unattended on the hob or grill – if you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the heat. 
  2. If you're very tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking medication that might make you drowsy, it's safer not to risk cooking. 
  3. Be fabric aware – loose clothing can easily catch fire, so take care not to lean over a hot hob, and always keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  4. Try to keep the oven, hob, cooker hood, extractor fan and grill clean – built-up fat and grease can ignite and cause a fire.
  5. Use spark devices to light gas cookers – they're much safer than matches or lighters, as they don’t have a naked flame. They're safer around children, too.
  6. Double check the cooker and hob are turned off when you’ve finished cooking.
  7. Check toasters are clean and not placed under kitchen cabinets or close to anything that can catch fire.
  8. Never put anything metal in the microwave.

Always keep an eye on children and pets in the kitchen: don't leave them unsupervised; put matches and lighters away; and keep saucepan handles out of reach.

If the pan does catch fire: don’t tackle the fire yourself or try to move the pan. Never throw water onto it as this can create a fireball. If you can do so safely – turn off the heat. Leave the room and close the door. Shout to warn others to get out, stay out and call 999.