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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters Attending Stone Food and Drink Festival

29/09/2011

Stone firefighters will be attending the Stone Food and Drink festival this weekend where they will carry out chip pan fire demonstrations and give people cooking safety advice.

"It isn’t unusual for people to start cooking and then simply forget about it – it doesn’t take long for a fire to start and it can get out of control very quickly."

Stone Crew Manager, Mike Burnside

In March this year, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service launched a hard-hitting campaign targeting people who leave cooking unattended as shocking statistics revealed over 50% of fires attended by firefighters last year were cooking related.

Stone Crew Manager, Mike Burnside said: "Cooking fires are the most common types of kitchen fire we attend and just last week we attended another one in Stone. The usual scenario is food has been left cooking unattended and the person has then gone out of the house or even just into a different room and the food has caught fire.

"We also warn against drinking alcohol whilst cooking as alcohol lowers your awareness and we often attend incidents where someone has come home from a night out, is feeling peckish so starts cooking but then falls asleep and a fire takes hold.

"It isn’t unusual for people to start cooking and then simply forget about it – it doesn’t take long for a fire to start and it can get out of control very quickly. Our advice is to stay in the kitchen until you are finished cooking as it is all too easy to become distracted and also ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted in the appropriate places in the home. Smoke alarms should be tested on a weekly basis.

"We can offer a free Home Fire Risk Check which includes us checking smoke alarms and if they are not fitted or don’t work, we’ll fit new ones free of charge. You should have a smoke alarm on every level of your home on the ceiling.

"We’ll be on hand between 12noon and 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday to speak to people about kitchen and cooking safety. We’ll also be showing just how easily and quickly a fire can start and become out of control using chip pan demonstrations."

Firefighters will also be asking people how they push the button on their smoke alarms in preparation for the launch of ‘Push the Button 2011.’