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Fire Safety Awareness – cooking

Tuesday 4 July 2023



The kitchen is often considered the heart of a home, where delicious meals are prepared and cherished. However, it’s also a place where fires can easily start, accounting for 60% of all fire incidents. To ensure a safe cooking environment and protect your home and loved ones, it’s essential to be aware of fire safety tips. In this blog, we will discuss some crucial measures you can take to prevent kitchen fires and practice fire safety while cooking. 

Cooking safely 

As the school holidays approach, it’s understandable that you may need to step away from the kitchen to attend to your children. However, if you have to leave a cooker unattended, make sure to take the pans off the heat or reduce the heat to minimize the risk of fire. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to educate your children about fire safety in the kitchen. Be mindful that children can be distracting while cooking, so it’s important to remain vigilant. 

When using saucepans, ensure that the handles are faced inwards, to prevent them from being knocked off the stove. This simple precaution can prevent fires and burns. Furthermore, it’s crucial to keep the cooking area clear of any potential fire hazards, such as tea towels, cloths, or loose clothing. Be cautious when leaning over the back hobs, ensuring that no sleeves or loose fabric hang down, as they can easily catch fire. 

Electrics in the kitchen 

The kitchen is filled with various electrical appliances like kettles, microwaves, and toasters. It’s essential to keep these gadgets away from water sources and ensure they each have their own power source. Overloading a plug socket with multiple high-powered electrical items can lead to a fire hazard. Regularly cleaning these appliances is also important, as a build-up of crumbs, grease, or fat can ignite a fire. 

Deep fat frying is a common cause of kitchen fires. Cooking with oil can lead to quick ignition if the oil becomes too hot. To prevent this, make sure the oil is at a safe temperature and turn off the heat if it gets too hot. Using a thermostat-controlled deep fryer is recommended, as it reduces the risk of overheating. 

Barbecue safety 

With the summer season in full swing, many cooking activities move outdoors to the barbecue. However, it’s crucial to understand and practice safe barbecuing to prevent accidents and fires.
Ensure that your barbecue is positioned well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs, or any flammable objects. Even small sparks can easily ignite a fire, so maintaining a safe distance is essential. Always have a bucket of water, sand, or a fire extinguisher nearby when using a barbecue. This allows you to quickly extinguish any fire that may occur. 

Never leave a barbecue unattended, especially if there are children or animals in the nearby. Vigilance is key to preventing accidents. After you’re done grilling, make sure the coals, ashes, and oil have completely cooled down before disposing of them. Hot coals or oil can easily start a fire if not handled properly.