YEOVIL NEWS: Don’t be distracted while in the kitchen
FIRE safety officers in Yeovil are urging people to take more care while in the kitchen at home to avoid being the next person to have to call the emergency 999 number for help.
There have been three kitchen fires in Yeovil within the space of a few days this month with two of the incidents resulting in smoke inhalation injuries.
Paul McAllister, station manager for Yeovil, said: "In all three incidents the fires were caused by distraction and could have been avoided."
More than 50% of accidental property fires start in the kitchen. This means that you are six times more likely to have an incident in your kitchen than in any other room in the house.
In Devon and Somerset over the last five years from 2012 to 2017 within the home, 314 incidents that caused an injury resulted in a total of 387 injuries, 175 of these happened in the kitchen. This means a third of all accidental incidents within the kitchen are caused by distraction or falling asleep.
“We all know that when cooking it’s easy to be distracted, but our stats indicate show that you are most likely to get distracted between 5pm and 7pm,” added Paul McAllister.
“This is exactly the time when the evening meal is being prepared and becoming distracted can happen easily. The risk is heightened if you cook using a chip pan or deep fat fryer.”
There are several things people can do to prevent fires when using a cooker:
• make sure you do not get distracted when cooking for a short period of time, turn off the cooker.
• turn saucepans so the handles do not stick out over the edge of the hob or over another ring make sure tea-towels are not hanging over the cooker and do not put oven gloves on top of a hot cooker.
• keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your cooker top.
• double check that the cooker is off when you have finished cooking.
Stay alive and stay safe with a working smoke alarm. This will greatly increase your chances of escaping from a fire unharmed. Without one you and your family are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home.
Check that a smoke alarm is fitted on each level of your property:
• once a year – change your battery or consider buying a ten-year alarm which will not require frequent battery changes.
• regularly check your alarms by pressing the button.
• once a year - vacuum and wipe the smoke alarm casing to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor chamber (for mains wired alarms, switch off first).
In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
People wanting some free home safety advice can call 0800-05-02-999. For any other fire safety advice, contact the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue helpline on 01392-872288 or visit www.dsfire.gov.uk .