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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Safety Messages after Kitchen Fire

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind people about the importance of having operating smoke alarms inside of their homes following a kitchen fire in Birches Head last night.

The emergency call was received at 8.40pm yesterday evening and involved reports of a fire at a property on Woodward Street in Birches Head. Two crews from Hanley were called to the scene where they extinguished the fire using hose reel jets. Upon arrival firefighters found all occupants had safely evacuated the property after being alerted to the fire by operating smoke alarms on the first floor.

The incident is believed to have been caused due to a chip pan which had been left on accidentally.

Station Manager, Carl Mason commented: "When it comes to a fire in your home, smoke alarms are invaluable pieces of equipment which beyond doubt save lives. They alert people to fires, allowing those extra crucial minutes to evacuate the property. We are still aware that some homes in the County do not have smoke alarms fitted, if this is the case we would urge occupants to call our FREEPHONE number 0800 0241 999 where they will be able to arrange a free home fire risk check, which includes the fitting of free smoke alarms. If you do already have smoke alarms in your home follow these tips to ensure they are working correctly:

  • Ensure you have at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home – one is not enough.
  • Your smoke alarm should not be covered up by anything - so when you are decorating make sure that dust sheets are kept well away from the alarms.
  • Does your alarm have a ten year battery? If not, make sure you test the batteries in your alarm every week and change them once a year.
  • Don’t put your alarms near to kitchens or bathrooms as steam can set them off by accident – the ideal position is on the ceiling in the middle of the room, hallway or landing so you can hear it sound throughout your home.


Carl continued: "We are still also attending numerous house fires which are caused as a result of cooking accidents and in particular people forgetting to turn off their chip pans once they have finished cooking. Chip pans can cause serious fires because they very quickly overheat and then ignite. We urge people to use deep fat fryers instead – they are much safer because they are thermostatically controlled, meaning they can’t overheat."

This fire caused significant fire and smoke damage to the kitchen area and smoke damage throughout the property. Crews left the incident at approximately 10.10pm.