News release text
A fire in a Margate kitchen last night (31 May) has highlighted an alarming rise in the number of blazes for local crews caused by unattended cooking.
Two appliances were sent to the three storey home in Godwin Road, Cliftonville, after Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s control room received a call shortly after 10pm to reports of an overheated chip pan. Firefighter wore breathing apparatus and managed to contain the blaze to the pan although some of the flat was smoke logged.
Margate Crew Manager Steven Quincey said: “The residents were fortunate to have a working smoke alarm which alerted them to the pan overheating and they did the right thing in calling us rather than attempting to tackle it themselves. We advised them – as we would other residents – to ditch their chip pan in favour of safer forms of cooking and we warn people to never leave cooking unattended.”
This latest incident follows an alarming increase in the number of kitchen fires for crews across the Thanet area. In April there were six incidents, compared to just two the previous month. Of last month’s callouts, all were due to unattended cooking where residents had been distracted or, in one case, fallen asleep.
KFRS Risk Reduction Manager Sheridan Hudson-Peacock said: “If you leave the kitchen, turn the heat off as fire starts when your attention stops. Just three breaths of fire smoke can be fatal, so it’s vital that everyone has working smoke alarms in their homes. We offer free safety advice and services to everyone but there’s a lot you can do to keep yourself safe.”
Residents are advised to follow these tips to prevent fires in the kitchen:
Watch what you heat and don’t leave cooking unattended.
Turn saucepan handles so that they don’t stick out from the 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
Keep the oven, hob and grill clean - a build up of fat and grease can easily catch fire
Prevent children accidently turning on electric cookers by switching them off at the main after use
Fit smoke alarms on every floor of your home, and test the batteries weekly
If there is a fire, don’t take risks by tackling it yourself. Get out, stay out and call the fire and rescue service.