London Fire Brigade

Fire chiefs warn don't cook when drunk this xmas party season

12 December 2011

As the office Christmas party season reaches full swing, the London Fire Brigade is launching a new safety campaign to encourage young people not to cook after a night out drinking.

Adverts featuring the slogans ‘Last Night a Burger Saved My Life!’ and ‘Fire Safety Equipment’ above pictures of burgers are appearing in central London tube stations, in free newspapers and magazines and on social networking and listings websites from today (12 December). They aim to encourage people to get a takeaway instead of cooking at home if they have been out drinking.

New analysis by the Brigade estimates that the equivalent of around 33 million pints of beer or 75 million shots of vodka will be drunk by Londoners this December. The young, well-educated, professionals (18-35 year old Londoners), being targeted by the campaign cause more than a quarter of all accidental house fires in the capital, often by attempting to cook at home when drunk.

The Brigade is launching the Have a Takeaway campaign ahead of Friday 16 December, which experts predict will be London’s busiest day for Christmas parties and late night drinking. Cooking when drunk greatly increases the risk of someone having a serious fire which could destroy their home or, even worse, kill them.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“In the run up to Christmas, many people will be out drinking more than they usually would, whether it’s at the work Christmas do or catching up with friends. Our message is simple, if you’ve had too much to drink, don’t go home thinking you’re on MasterChef. Too many fires start when someone has passed out, leaving a pizza in the oven or a pan on the hob and it can be fatal. If people are planning a big night out, they should plan on having a takeaway on the way home.“

People can show their support for the campaign by uploading pictures of their takeaways to London Fire Brigade’s Facebook page. The tastiest takeaway picture will receive a £25 voucher from online takeaway booking service Just Eat.   

Analysis by the Brigade reveals a checklist of lifestyle traits shared by the young professionals who, in the last three years, were responsible for more than 4,500 of London’s 18,000 house fires.

It reveals that they are likely to:
• be degree educated 
• live in smart rented flats 
• earn more than £40,000 a year 
• enjoy keeping fit 
• Go to the cinema twice a month, regularly go clubbing and drink alcohol more than three times a week


Notes to Editors

• The adverts below titled LAST NIGHT A BURGER SAVED MY LIFE and FIRE SAFETY EQUIPMENT will be at 10 London underground stations in zone 1. Pictures available on request.
• The Brigade has matched three years of data about accidental fires in the home with Experian’s Public Sector Mosaic segmentation data to identify the types of lifestyle that have the most fires.
• Mosaic Group G ‘Young, well-educated city dwellers were found to be responsible for 25 per cent of London’s fires (4,534 fires over three years).
• Mosaic lifestyle data provides a detailed and accurate understanding of each citizen's location, their demographics, lifestyles and behaviours.
• Drinking statistics based on Drinkaware 2009 release 
• From Monday 12 December, London Fire Brigade will be asking people to upload pictures of their takeaways to the Brigade’s facebook page. To see them go to
• No endorsement or recommendation of the services or products of ‘Just Eat’ is implied or given by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority which runs the London Fire Brigade.
• The Facebook  competition will run between noon on Monday 12 December and midnight on Monday 19 December. Terms and conditions apply.
• More information about our campaign can be found here