Fire safety at home

Kitchen fire safety

More fires start in the kitchen than any other room in the home. Over half the house fires in the UK start with somebody cooking.

It is important that you know how to stay safe in the kitchen. The best ways to reduce risk are:

  • never leave cooking unattended – if you have to leave the kitchen, take pans off the heat while you're out of the room
  • never leave children alone in the kitchen with food cooking on the hob
  • keep saucepan handles, matches and lighters out of children's reach at all times
  • keep loose clothes and tea towels away from the cooker and hob
  • make sure all cooking appliances are switched off when you've finished cooking
  • never try to cook if you've enjoyed a night out drinking – it's far safer to get a takeaway on the way home than attempt to cook while under the influence of alcohol

Electrics in the kitchen

You should take care with electrics in the kitchen. Always:

  • keep appliances and leads away from water
  • make sure toasters are clean and kept away from curtains and kitchen roll
  • keep ovens, hobs and grills clean and in good working order – a build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire
  • never put anything metal in the microwave – always follow the manufacturer's advice

Pan fires

If your pan catches fire:

  • never throw water over it
  • don't take any risks – turn off the heat if it's safe to do so
  • don't tackle the fire yourself – get out, close the kitchen door and dial 999

Take extra care with hot oil. It can catch fire easily, so:

  • if the oil starts to smoke it is too hot, turn off the heat and let it cool
  • make sure food is dry before putting it in the oil so it doesn't splash