Safety in the kitchen


Over 50% of fires in the home start in the kitchen. Taking a few simple measures can make all the difference.

10 Blue Watch tips to a safer kitchen 

  1. Keep electrical leads, tea towels, cloths, loose clothing and anything else that may catch fire away from the oven and hob.
  2. Keep the oven, hob, grill and toaster clean. A build-up of fat, grease and crumbs can easily catch fire. Always position toasters away from inflammable materials.
  3. Never put anything metallic inside your microwave.
  4. Turn off electrical appliances when not being used and have them serviced regularly. 
  5. Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.
  6. Use a spark device to light gas cookers. This is safer than using matches or lighters.
  7. Book a Gas Safe registered engineer to check cookers and gas appliances each year.
  8. Never leave children alone in the kitchen. Keep matches, lighters and pan handles where children can’t reach them.
  9. Take pans off the heat and turn off the hob and/or grill if you have to leave the kitchen while cooking. Make sure the oven, hob and grill are turned off when you have finished cooking.
  10. Avoid cooking if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking medication that can make you drowsy.

Chip pans

The fire and rescue service strongly discourages the use of chip pans. 

However, if you do use a chip pan you must follow the important safety steps below.

Never fill a pan more than a third full with fat or oil. If the oil starts smoking during cooking, turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool down, otherwise it may catch fire.

Always dry chips before putting them in the pan and turn off the hob if you have to leave the kitchen while cooking. Never leave a chip pan unattended.

If your chip pan does catch fire, try not to panic but place a fire blanket over the flames and turn off the heat. Never move a hot, flaming chip pan. Do not throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a hot fat fire. Only tackle a chip pan fire if you feel it is safe to do so.

If you are in any doubt about tackling the fire then leave the kitchen immediately, close the door behind you, tell everyone else in the house to get out and don’t go back inside for any reason. Call 999.

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