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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Increase in Cannock Cooking Fires

30/06/2011

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning to people in the Cannock and Rugeley areas to take care when cooking following 10 incidents in recent months.

"We say time and time again - do not leave cooking unattended, but the message doesn’t seem to be getting across."

Cannock Assistant Area Commander, Carl Mason

Since April this year, there have been 10 separate cooking-related incidents in the Cannock and Rugeley areas – the majority of which were caused by cooking left unattended.

The 10th incident took place over the weekend during the early hours of Sunday morning. The incident involved a man who had been drinking and then started to cook but he fell asleep and the food then caught fire. The 24-year-old needed rescuing by firefighters, as he was oblivious to the fire - it was a vigilant neighbour who alerted the Fire Service to the incident.

Cannock Assistant Area Commander, Carl Mason said: "We say time and time again - do not leave cooking unattended, but the message doesn’t seem to be getting across.

"To have 10 cooking-related fires over the past three months in Cannock is extremely worrying and people really need to take note of this and think about their actions whilst they are in the kitchen.

"People need to realise just how easy it is to cause a kitchen fire – it’s not worth the risk, just stay in the kitchen until you have finished cooking. We would also advise people to avoid cooking if they have been drinking alcohol as it’s very easy to fall asleep unintentionally and before you know it your food has caught fire.

"If food does catch fire, turn off the appliance if it is safe to do so, leave the room closing the door behind you and call the Fire Service. Working smoke alarms are also essential for all levels of every home and can give you those precious few minutes of extra warning.

"We will come and fit smoke alarms for free if you don’t have any or yours don’t work, so there really is no excuse. We can also help to identify potential fire hazards in your home during a free Home Fire Risk Check and so urge anyone who hasn’t already had one to book it now."