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Lucky escape for two Kent families after accidental hob fires

Lucky escape for two Kent families after accidental hob fires

19 April 2019

Firefighters are urging us to never store anything on the kitchen hob – especially if they’re electric – they can easily and accidentally be knocked and become switched on.

It comes after two Kent homes experienced fires in the kitchen where items were placed on the hob and by accident the hob switch was knocked and the ring started to warm up and before long caused the house to fill with smoke and a fire to start.

The first incident saw two fire engines rush to a home in Hastings Road, Pembury near Tunbridge Wells. Fire control received the emergency call at 4.38pm on Thursday 18 April 2019 where a laundry basket had been placed onto the hob and the switch had been accidently knocked on to a low setting. Over a short period of time the house filled with smoke; the basket and hob suffered extensive damage.

Everyone in the home was ok and escaped unharmed and it was thanks to the house having working smoke detectors that raised the alarm.

The second home was in Lagonda Way in Dartford. Fire crews were alerted at 7.10pm the same day; the alarm was raised due to heavy smoke in the kitchen area. This incident involved a cardboard box that had been placed on the hob and the switch had been accidentally turned on. The occupants of the property had extinguished the fire with water but the property had plenty of smoke that needed clearing.

The two fires could have been prevented. Firefighters are urging us to think twice before using the hob as a storage area – even temporarily, as tempting or conveinient as it can appear.

Hob and cooker top tips:

  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.

  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order - a build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.

  • Double check the cooker is off when you've finished cooking.

  • Never use the hob or cooker as a storage area.

If you’re concerned about home safety or you have someone in your life who lives alone or might need a helping hand, Kent Fire and Rescue Service can come to your home and help you with a FREE Safe and Well Visit which involves simple safety tips to give reassurance to help you feel confident that the family and home are as safe as they can be. We can even fit working smoke alarms if they’re needed.

To find out more, please call our team on 0800 923 7000 or visit Safe and Well.

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