Make safety your key ingredient when cooking this Summer – that is the message from an award winning Shropshire chef and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Community fire safety officers have linked up with Shrewsbury’s Café Saffron owner Abdul Husen, who won the Shropshire’s curry chef of the year award, to help highlight the importance of safety when cooking.
Many fires are caused by both indoor and outdoor cooking, warned Rabinder Dhami, Team Leader at the county brigade’s community fire safety department.
A half of all house fires are caused in the kitchen, many late at night after people have been drinking alcohol, and the number of house fires traditionally rise during the school holidays.
Fire officers also want to prevent another tragedy after a 14-year-old girl died earlier this year from carbon monoxide poisoning in a Shropshire camping tragedy at Bucknell when a disposable barbecue was taken inside a tent to keep the family warm.
A total of 10,000 fire safety leaflets will be distributed across the county at the county’s 23 fire stations, through DIY stores selling barbecues and kitchen equipment, and at Summer shows and events.
“We want to remind people to take care and know how to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. A working smoke alarm is a must in every home.
“People don’t realise just how quickly fire spreads. You are more likely to die in a house fire where there is no smoke alarms which can give you and your family those vital seconds to escape in time.”
Overheated oil or fat in chip pans, deep fat fryers or grill pans are the main cause of kitchen fires, often when people are distracted. Only thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers should be used, clean hobs regularly to prevent a build up of fat and don’t move a pan if it catches fire.
Turn off the heat if it is safe, never throw water on a burning pan, close doors and dial 999.
Keep a bucket of water or sand by a barbecue, don’t use petrol to light it, and after cooking switch off a gas cylinder first to use up any fuel in the pipeline before switching off the barbecue.