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Is your cooking a recipe for disaster?

March 5 2019

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service launches a campaign today (March 5) to reduce the number of cooking fires.

Cooking-related fires account for the largest number of dwelling fires we attend as a Service. Cooking and preparing food is done by most of us every day and it’s something we take for granted. In the six months up to December 2018 we attended 74 fires across the Service that were cooking-related. The main point about cooking fires though is they are preventable.

Director of Prevent and Protect Glynn Luznyj

Cooking fires make up more than 25 per cent of accidental dwelling fires across the Service’s area making it the most common cause of blazes in the home. The campaign is scheduled to run for the whole of March and each week will focus on one of the main reasons cooking fires start which are: distraction, alcohol, dirty grills and chip pan fires. The aim is to make people aware of the need to concentrate while cooking and encourage them to follow our advice so their cooking doesn’t become a ‘Recipe for Disaster’. 

Director of Prevent and Protect Glynn Luznyj said: “Cooking-related fires account for the largest number of dwelling fires we attend as a Service. Cooking and preparing food is done by most of us every day and it’s something we take for granted. In the six months up to December 2018 we attended 74 fires across the Service that were cooking-related. The main point about cooking fires though is they are preventable. 

“We want people to appreciate that, although it’s an everyday activity, it’s still potentially dangerous. If you bring together heat or flames and combustible items like oil, grease or fabrics like tea towels and curtains it doesn’t take long before that becomes a recipe for a serious fire if you aren’t careful. 

“As it’s Pancake Day today, I’m sure a lot of people will be in the kitchen with their family making pancakes. That’s a fun activity that probably involves quite a few pancakes either stuck on the ceiling or landing on the floor! I am certain that people don’t want our firefighters joining them later to put out a fire so I’m just asking people to take care. The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house and there are so many ways fires in the kitchen can start. Leaving cooking unattended through distraction or not cleaning grill pans and ovens properly are common causes. Leaving pans on the ring after you’ve finished cooking can also be dangerous as we’ve had cases where dogs have jumped up to get something off the stove and accidentally turned on the ring which has then caused a fire. Please don’t add a fire risk to your food as not appreciating the possible dangers of cooking could be a recipe for disaster.” 

During the campaign the Service will be promoting its messages by using radio and billboard advertising, distributing safe cooking tips cards and using social media. Videos underlining the weekly theme of the campaign will also be posted on the Service’s website.

The theme for the first week is distraction. Distraction is one of the main reasons cooking fires start, whether it is distractions from children or simply using a mobile phone or tablet. This week’s theme highlights how important it is to look while you cook and the video and safety advice can be found here:

https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/your-safety/campaigns/recipe-for-disaster/