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Half term tips - cooking fire safety

During the February half term, many children across Bedfordshire will be spending more time in the kitchen.

As part of the national fire safety campaign, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging parents and carers to make kitchen activities a chance for children to learn about cooking safety. Whether children are lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know the hazards of a hot hob.

Area Community Safety Officer Andy Martin said: “There are lots of creative ways to teach children about cooking fire safety and it is vital they know what to do if the worst should happen."

Alongside melting, mixing and making, the Service is encouraging parents and carers to pass on fire safety tips and test smoke alarms as part of the activities. Help to keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach and never leave a child alone with a hot hob.

Andy Martin added: “Distraction while cooking is a main cause of fire call-outs right across the country. Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, so whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”

Fire Kills’ top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are:

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics - keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly.

For further advice on fire safety visit or contact Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service on https://www.bedsfire.gov.uk or ring 01234 845000.