As the Chinese New Year approaches on the 3rd February, people in Staffordshire are being advised to take extra care in the kitchen.
"The majority of fires in the kitchen are caused by cooking left unattended."
Ian Sloss, Head of Risk Reduction
Many in the Chinese community will be welcoming in the "Year of the Rabbit" with family meals however a fact that many people don’t know is that a massive 53% of house fires over the last two years in Staffordshire were caused by cooking accidents.
Ian Sloss, Head of Risk Reduction said: "While enjoying the New Year celebrations we would urge everyone to take care when cooking. The majority of fires in the kitchen are caused by cooking left unattended. If a pan or wok does catch fire, if it is safe to do so, switch off the heat then get out closing the door behind you and call 999.
"In addition to this you need to ensure that you have at least two fully operating smoke alarms that can give you an early warning in the event of a fire occurring. We can offer a free Home Fire Risk Check at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to help you stay safe at home.
"A firefighter or technician will visit your property and identify potential fire hazards, as well as ensuring your home has properly fitted and working smoke alarms. To book your free Home Fire Risk Check, just call 0800 0241 999 and we will arrange a convenient time to pop around."
Fireworks are also a popular way to celebrate the Chinese New Year and accidents can easily happen if they are not used appropriately: "We urge people to stay safe by following the firework code," added Ian, "children enjoy sparklers but they are the cause of many injuries and children should always be supervised when using sprinklers - they should never be given to children under the age of five."
The Firework Code
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box.
• Follow the instructions on each firework.
• Light them at arms length, using a taper.
• Stand well back.
• Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode.
• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
• Always supervise children around fireworks.
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
• Never give sparklers to a child under five.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm