Staying fire safe in the kitchen is the theme of a range of family-focussed activities being carried out by Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS).
Mealtimes can be a busy time for families and often residents find themselves trying to juggle many other tasks while trying to cook for everyone.
There are many distractions that can cause you to take your eye off of your cooking, but with over half the fires KFRS attend starting in the kitchen, KFRS is warning that unattended cooking can result in severe damage to your home and may put you, and your family, at risk.
In the last week, crews have been sent to kitchen-related call outs in Rochester, Hythe, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Folkestone and Margate, and fortunately many of these turned out to be fumes from burnt food or small incidents which required little action from KFRS. However, many of these incidents could have been avoided altogether with more care and attention when cooking.
Community Safety Manager Charlie Smith said: “The majority of kitchen fires we are called to are caused by unattended cooking, a build up of grease and fat on the cooker, or by kitchen mishaps, where items such as tea towels, chopping boards or washing baskets have been left on the hob. By taking a few moments to work out what is coming in between you and a fire safe mealtime, you can avoid a fire of this type happening in your home.”
Fire crews and KFRS’s community safety team will be urging people to make fire safety their main ingredient over the next few weeks at community events and open days across the county, including:
• Saturday 30 July
- Folkestone fire station is opening its doors for a community open day from 10.30am to 4pm.
- Maidstone crews will be attending a community fete in Heather House Field, Park Wood.
- The Community Safety (CS) team will also be attending a community event at St Mary’s playing field in Shorncliffe.
• Monday 1 August Larkfield firefighters and KFRS CS team will be taking a fire engine to the Winterfield Estate, East Malling and offering residents cooking safety tips and the option of a free home safety visit (HSVs), including, where needed, the fitting of free smoke alarms.
• Wednesday 3 August the CS team will be promoting the cooking fire safety campaign at the National Children’s Play Day event in Ellington Park, Ramsgate.
• Friday 5 August Sittingbourne firefighters and the CS team will be spending the afternoon in Langley Road chatting to households about cooking fire safety and offering free HSVs.
• Saturday 6 August
- Dartford fire station will be hosting a community open day from 11am to 3pm.
- CS team will be attending a community event, Northcote Recreation Ground, Northcote Road, Strood.
• Tuesday 9 August CS team will be offering fire safety advice at a community event at Kings Farm Library, Sun Lane, Gravesend
• Friday 12 August KFRS will be promoting the cooking safety campaign at the Golding Homes Community event. Mote Park, Maidstone
• Saturday 13 August Rochester fire station community open day from 12pm to 4pm.
Help prevent a kitchen fire in your home by following these tips:
• Keep an eye on your cooking and remember to switch off your cooker if you have to leave the room
• Use a timer for items placed in your oven or grill to remind you when your food is done and to save it from burning
• Plan and prepare - if you know you have a busy week ahead, try and plan in advance and prepare meals that do not require lots of cooking
• Avoid storing or placing household items on your cooker or stove
• Keep your cooker, grill and oven clean to avoid a build up of grease and fat that could start a fire
• Keep children and pets well away from your cooking area
• Ensure electric cookers, toasters and microwaves are turned off at the mains when you have finished using them
• Fit a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home and test it weekly to ensure it provides early warning in the event of a fire
Keep you and your family safe with KFRS's latest cooking safety campaign.
Further activities in the community will be taking place throughout the summer.
Follow us on Facebook for updates for further information.