Keeping safe in the kitchen

Posted by: Laura O'Neil

Mon 7th February 2022

During the February half term, many children across Derbyshire will be spending more time in the kitchen; but whether they’re lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know the hazards of a hot hob.

This February Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance for kids to learn about cooking safety.

Station manager Ian Snodgrass said: “There are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety, and it’s absolutely vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen.

“So, alongside the melting, mixing, and making, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety know-how? Test your smoke alarms as part of the activity, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.”

Also, the kids don’t have to be in the kitchen to change the way you work, distraction while cooking is a main cause of fire call-outs right across the country.

Station manager Snodgrass continued: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen – often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So, whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s tips for staying safe in the kitchen are:

• Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
• If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
• Double check the hob and oven are off when you’ve finished cooking.
• Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
• Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
• Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
• Take care with electrics – keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
• Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
• Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
• Hot oil can catch fire easily – be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
• Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
• In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
• Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly.