More than 50 per cent of accidental fires at home are started by cooking - most kitchen fires occur when people are distracted or leave things unattended.
Always cook safely and:
- don't get distracted while cooking
- take pans off the heat if you are called away from the cooker by, for example, the phone or someone at the door
- don't cook if you're affected by alcohol or prescription drugs
- turn saucepans so that their handles don't stick out and aren't over another ring that is on
- don't put oven gloves or tea-towels on to a hot cooker after you've used them
- clean your grill pan after using it
- take extra care when deep-fat frying or cooking with oil - use a thermostat-controlled, deep-fat fryer to ensure the fat doesn't get too hot.
Dealing with a fire in your kitchen
If you do have a fire in the kitchen, don't take any risks - get everyone out of your home and call 999.
If a pan catches fire:
- don't move it - it is likely to be extremely hot
- turn off the heat if it's safe to do so, but never lean over a pan to reach the controls
- place a fire blanket over the pan if you have one - don't use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil as the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire
- leave the pan to cool completely if you have put the fire out.
If you have a chip pan fire:
- never move the pan
- turn off the heat only if it's safe for you to do so
- never use water to try and put it out as this will cause a fireball.
If you have an electrical fire in the kitchen:
- pull the plug out, or switch the power off at the fuse box - this may be enough to stop the fire immediately
- smother the fire with a fire blanket or use a dry powder or carbon dioxide extinguisher
- remember - never use water on an electrical fire.
More information is also available on our Fire safety booklets page.