News release text
The dangers of storing items on the hob have once again been highlighted following a kitchen fire in Tunbridge Wells.
Two fire engines were called to Chilston Road at 1pm on Wednesday (6 August) after an electric hob was accidentally switched on setting a plastic chip pan fryer stored on top of the oven alight.
Tunbridge Wells Watch Manager, Mark Havell, who attended the incident, said: “When we arrived the occupants were out of the property having been advised to do by the 999 control team. We were therefore able to concentrate on tackling the fire which was still contained to the kitchen area and ventilated the remaining smoke from the flat.
“While accidents can and do happen it’s important to take care in the kitchen and never store items on top of the hob. I would also advise anyone unfortunate enough to have a fire in their home to make getting out of the building their first priority, reducing the amount of time spent breathing in toxic fire fumes as much as possible. Just three breaths of fire smoke can knock you unconscious; children and older people are most at risk, as their bodies are less able to cope. When exiting the property ensure you close all internal doors as you pass them in order to slow down the spread of smoke throughout your home.”
A man and woman were assessed by paramedics at the scene, with the woman requiring medical attention for slight smoke inhalation. The fire was contained to the kitchen area with the rest of the flat lightly damaged by smoke.
Mark added: “The property was fitted with a working smoke alarm which helped the residents in detecting the fire. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of fitting these devices in your home, and check them regularly to ensure they are in good working condition.”
To help prevent a fire breaking out in your kitchen, please follow these simple safety tips:
Keep the oven, hob, toaster and grill clean – a build-up of fat, crumbs or grease can easily catch fire.
When cooking, take care if you’re wearing loose clothing as it can easily catch fire.
Keep electrical leads, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
Never leave children alone in the kitchen.
Keep matches, lighters and saucepan handles where children can’t reach them, and fit a safety catch on the oven door.
Don’t leave pans on the hob when you’re not around. Take them off the heat if you have to leave the kitchen.
When you have finished cooking, make sure you switch off the oven and hob.
If oil has overheated; turn off the heat, put the lid on, and leave to cool down. If a fire has started, get out, stay out and call 999. Close doors as you leave.
For further advice on how to keep you, your family or a neighbour safe from fire call Kent Fire and Rescue Service for free on 0800 923 7000 or go to www.3breaths.info for further information.