Warnings against Christmas fire dangers in the kitchen

Firefighters are urging residents to stay away from the booze while they cook their Christmas meals.

The number of house fires in Surrey usually rises by a third during the festive period, with kitchen fires accounting for almost half of those (42%).

Families with children and older people cooking alone are most at risk, according the Surrey Fire and Rescue, who have published a list of guidelines to help keep people safe.

The guidelines include:

  • Don’t cook under the influence of alcohol.
  • Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out, this way they won’t get knocked off the stove.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • If you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down. Double check your cooker is off when you’ve finished.
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • If oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer as they can’t overheat.
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks, turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over burning oil.
  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself – get out, stay out, call 999.
  • Denise Turner Stewart, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We are all aware that there is a higher risk of a fire at Christmas, with more distractions and decorations within our homes. The Service is prepared to respond at any time with our wonderful crews and control staff working 24/7 throughout the festive period but we’re asking you to play your part to prevent fires from happening in the first place.”

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