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''Take care in the kitchen,'' warn Sevenoaks fire crews

''Take care in the kitchen,'' warn Sevenoaks fire crews

4 June 2015

Sevenoaks householders are being reminded to keep safety in mind when cooking following a number of cooking fires in recent weeks.

Sevenoaks Watch Manager Danny Barrett said: "Kitchen fires are one of the most common types of fires in the home, yet often they could have been avoided. Fortunately, these incidents were relatively small but could easily have led to more serious injury or damage"

Crews attended the first incident in St Johns Road at 8.28am on Saturday, 2 May after food was left cooking unattended under the grill while the resident was on the phone. The cooker and hob were damaged and there was also a small amount of smoke damage to the kitchen units and ceiling.

On 12 May firefighters were called to a heavily smoke logged house in Old London Road, Knockholt at 11.10am, where fat ignited the grill after it was accidentally left on. They ventilated the property and provided home safety advice to the elderly occupant.

Three days later firefighters from the same station were called to Churchfield, Sevenoaks at 4.31pm after a pan was left cooking unattended on the hob. The pan was destroyed and the property heavily smoke logged. Crews ventilated the property and used a thermal imaging camera to check for fire spread.

Fire crews were also called out to another cooking related incident just before 6pm on 31 May at Hollybush Lane -  the resident had left a frying pan unattended on the cooker. No firefighting action was needed as the resident had extinguished it prior to the crew’s arrival but they provided home fire safety advice to the resident.

Since the start of June, Sevenoaks crews have already been to two cooking related incidents. On Monday, (1 June) they were called to Grange Close, Edenbridge after food left cooking in a microwave caught alight just before 2.30pm

Yesterday, (3 June), three residents were evacuated from their flats in Homedean Close, Chipstead just before 3pm, after smoke was seen issuing from a window of the three storey building. Two fire engines attended and firefighters forced entry into a ground floor flat, where they discovered the resident had gone out leaving a pan cooking on the hob. They ventilated the property and communal areas which were heavily smoke logged.

Danny added: "Many people don’t realise that that just two or three breaths of toxic smoke can affect your ability to breathe, a sensation similar to drowning, it’s more likely to kill you than the flames. But, there’s a lot you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Follow our cooking safety tips and please make sure you have a working smoke alarms as that early warning could just save your life."

When cooking:

  • Keep the oven, hob, toaster and grill clean - a build-up of fat, crumbs or grease can easily catch fire

  • Fire starts when your attention stops - always stand by your pans and take them off the heat if you have to leave the room

  • Keep leads, tea towels and cloths away from cooker and hob  

  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil. If the oil starts to smoke, do not begin cooking - remove from the heat and leave it to cool 

  • Fit and regularly maintain a smoke alarm, one on each floor of your home 

Don’t forget that Kent Fire and Rescue Service offers free home safety advice to everyone call 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines) or email your contact details to home@kent.fire-uk.org

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