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Kitchen safety

Tips on how to keep safe while cooking.

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.

Last updated:
21 June 2022
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