Firefighters are urging people to take care when cooking following a spate on kitchen blazes in Stafford.
"Unfortunately these types of incident are not uncommon and can have devastating – potentially life-threatening - consequences."
Carmel Warren - Prevention Manager for the west of the county
The warning comes in the wake of four such incidents which have taken place in less than two weeks.
The first happened on July 12 and involved a chip pan which caught fire at a house in West Way, Highfields. Crews from Stafford and Gnosall arrived at 12.34pm and left at 2.37pm.
This was followed by an incident on July 17 at a flat on Barnes Road, also in Highfields. It is believed that items of clothing had been left on a cooker which was switched on. Firefighters from Rising Brook and Stafford attended at 11.31pm and returned at 12.12am.
A crew from Stafford tackled a third blaze which had broken out at Oldfields Crescent in Great Haywood on July 19. Firefighters arrived at the property at 4.59pm and left at 5.16pm.
The fourth fire was at a property in Coghlan Drive, Highfields, on July 22. Appliances from Stafford and Rising Brook were called to scene at 6.31pm and returned at 7.05pm. The last two incidents were caused by ovens catching fire.
Community Safety Officers have been delivering postcards featuring the ‘top 10 cooking safety tips’ to properties located in the areas affected by the fires.
Carmel Warren, Prevention Manager for the west of the county, said: "Unfortunately these types of incident are not uncommon and can have devastating – potentially life-threatening - consequences.
"There are some very simple steps that can be followed in order to avoid being the victim of a kitchen fire. The most important thing to remember is to never leave cooking unattended. The vast majority of kitchen fires break out when people are cooking food and it is left unattended, it either over-heats or fat residue that has been left on appliances from previous use ignites.
"We would urge people to avoid using chip pans – instead opt for a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer, don’t drink alcohol prior to cooking and never wear loose clothing which could easily catch fire."
For more information on cooking safety visit: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/cookingsafety.asp