Cheshire firefighters offer cooking safety advice
With the summer school holidays fast approaching many people will be thinking of having barbecues or will be spending more time in the kitchen.
While not wanting to put a dampener on people’s enjoyment, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council campaign, which runs throughout July, to ensure everyone is aware of the potential dangers of cooking if care isn’t taken.
Nick Evans, Head of Prevention for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Half of the fires in the home start in the kitchen but we also have an issue with people cooking on barbecues. We want everyone to enjoy eating outside or cooking for their families, but want them to stay safe doing so.
“Preparing well in advance and lighting the charcoal early is the key but, never be tempted to use lighter fluid especially on hot coals. I would urge people not to leave cooking unattended inside the home or outside as it can easily catch light and start a fire. Please follow the safety advice below to stay safe. It may seem a long list but most of the advice is common sense.”
Safety tips for charcoal and gas barbecues include:
- Ensure any BBQ is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area
- Never leave any BBQ unattended
- Keep a bucket of sand nearby for emergencies
- Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- Make sure the gas tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
- Change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well ventilated area
- If you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – tighten to fix but do not overtighten
- After cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up
For cooking safety indoors:
- Always clean the grill pan after using it to avoid a build-up of fat and oil in your grill pan
- Do not leave cooking unattended – a forgotten pan can lead to disaster
- If cooking 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 instead of a chip pan as they can’t overheat
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from grills and hobs
- Don’t start cooking if you have had alcohol or are really tired.
Nick added: “If a pan should catch fire then please don’t take any risks. Turn the heat off if it is safe to do so and NEVER throw water over hot oil. Also make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home so that you are alerted to a fire in your home at the very earliest stage. Don’t tackle the fire yourself – Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.”
For more information please visit the website www.cheshirefire.co.uk