London Fire Brigade

Firefighters offer to fix Coldplay Chris’s kitchen nightmares

13 December 2012

London firefighters have today pledged to ‘fix’ Coldplay’s Chris Martin after his wife Gwyneth Paltrow revealed his cooking disasters have twice led to 999 call outs.

London Fire Brigade is offering Martin, 35, a free home fire safety visit where crews will talk to him and his family about how they can stay safe from fire and avoid cooking fires – which are the most common cause for fires in the capital. Gwyneth Paltrow’s revelations came tonight on a new Channel 4  cookery show, ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club’, presented by Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty.

The Shakespeare in Love actress said in the programme:

“He has twice cooked a meal and this is not a joke, both times the fire brigade came. I swear on my life – both times.”

The Brigade targets its home fire safety visits to people and places where there is a higher risk of fire, but is also concerned about young professionals in London, like Chris, as they are responsible for one in four of all house fires. Kitchen fires account for at least three out of five house fires. Figures taken from the last five years show that there are on average nine kitchen fires a day in London. These caused over 2,500 injuries and 21 deaths.

Kitchen fires are often caused by cooking that has been left unattended. Ovens or hobs being accidentally left on are also a concern, as are chip pans and items being left too close to cookers. A large number of serious kitchen fires also begin when people have been drinking.

London Fire Brigade‘s Head of Operations, Prevention and Response Dave Brown said:

“People often think that fires only happen to vulnerable people but young professionals have a quarter of all house fires in London. Chris will know that fires can develop almost at the ‘Speed of Sound’ so it’s important that when they’re cooking, people don’t have ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ and leave their cooking unattended causing a lot of ‘Trouble’.

“Three out of five house fires start in the kitchen so at this time of year with the family coming round from Christmas dinner it is important to follow our advice.”


Notes to Editors

The Brigade carries out home fire safety visits to those most at risk from fire. If you are concerned that your home may be at risk of fire or know someone who you think needs our help please go to

Cooking fire safety

• Keep handles of pans turned to the back of the hob and away from other gas burners/electric rings.
• Take pans off the heat and turn off the hob and/or grill if you have to leave the kitchen while cooking, and make sure the oven, hob and grill is turned off when you have finished cooking.
• Avoid cooking if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking medication that can make you drowsy.
• Never fill a pan more than a third full with fat or oil.
• Dry chips/food before putting them in the pan.
• If the oil has started smoking turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool down, otherwise it may catch fire.
• Turn off the hob if you have to leave the kitchen whilst cooking.

In the last five financial years, 2007/08  to 2011/12, there were 17,290 accidental home fires in the kitchen causing 21 fire related fatalities and 2,547 fire related injuries.