News release text
Crews in Whitstable are reminding residents not to let their attention drift while cooking following a kitchen fire at Wickets End this morning.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service were alerted just before midday to a smoke alarm sounding in a ground floor flat. Firefighters arrived on the scene within four minutes and gained access to the smoke logged property through an open window. Once inside firefighters found a man asleep and quickly led him to safety.
Crew Manager Darren Dennis, who attended the incident, said: “The occupier had put some boiled eggs on the hob for lunch and left the pan unattended. Unfortunately, he then fell asleep on the sofa and the pan boiled dry and began to smoke. A smoke alarm was sounding in the property but didn’t wake the occupier up, while a heat alarm fitted in the kitchen had been removed.
“It’s important that while cooking you keep your attention on what’s going on in the kitchen, and if you do leave the room, ensure the food is removed from any potential heat source. I would also urge anyone feeling tired not to begin cooking a hot meal but rather prepare a cold snack.
“I would also like to remind people not to take down smoke or heat alarms from their homes. People tend to remove alarms due to becoming frustrated with them sounding during cooking but that’s a small price to pay for something that could literally help save your life.”
The man was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by paramedics, while damage in the flat was restricted to the pan on the hob.
To help keep your family safe while cooking 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.