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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Three Kitchen Fires in Three Days

23/05/2011

Firefighters have attended three kitchen fires in three consecutive days in the Cannock area.

“We’d urge people not to leave food unattended whilst cooking. It is very easy to forget about food cooking, so we would advise people to remain in the kitchen until they have finished cooking and turn off all appliances after use.”

Assistant Area Commander Ian Broadhead.

The first call was received on the 19th May at 9:44am reporting a kitchen fire on Woodland Close in Hednesford.  Firefighters from Cannock attended the incident which involved a cooker that had caught fire.  Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire. They then ventilated the property and left the scene at 10:30am.

Firefighters from Cannock were called to an incident the following day at 5pm to a house in Conifer Close in Hednesford.   The fire involved a grill pan in the downstairs kitchen that had caught fire. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to put out the fire.  The house was searched by firefighters for possible casualties, fortunately there was nobody inside the house. The incident was closed at 5:35pm.

On the 21st May a call was received just after 4pm reporting a fire at Canford Place Flats in Hednesford.  Fire and rescue crews from Rugeley attended the incident where they discovered a chip pan that had caught fire.  Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire.  One female casualty was treated for smoke inhalation. The incident was closed at 5:05pm.

Assistant Area Commander for Cannock, Ian Broadhead said: “To have three kitchen fires in just three days is a real concern. We’re currently running a cooking campaign as over half of the accidental house fires we attend are in the kitchen.

“We’d urge people not to leave food unattended whilst cooking. It is very easy to forget about food cooking, so we would advise people to remain in the kitchen until they have finished cooking and turn off all appliances after use.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently running a cooking safety campaign after statistics revealed that 52% of accidental house fires in the County were caused by cooking. The campaign specifically targets two groups who are most at risk of kitchen fires;  families with children who can become easily distracted when cooking and men aged 40 plus who may get an attack of the munchies after a night at the pub and be tempted to start cooking - then fall asleep leaving their pan unattended. 

As part of the campaign posters have been distributed to public places including shops, local Sainsbury’s stores, pubs and nightclubs, job centres and nurseries. One poster shows a man, beer in hand, asleep on the sofa whilst a pan catches fire on the hob in the kitchen entitled ‘Don’t Make Fast Food Your Last Food. Watch Your Pan.’ Statistics show that 45% of the fires in the last year involved people who were living alone and 1 in 3 fire deaths is alcohol related.

 The second poster shows a mother on the phone whilst also trying to amuse her daughter whilst a pan behind her catches alight entitled ‘Don’t Just Cook, Look! Watch Your Pan.’ Statistics show that 25% of fires were in the homes of people with children.