London Fire Brigade

Firefighters issue Easter safety advice

01 April 2010

Almost half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, according to new figures released this Easter by London Fire Brigade

With the bank holiday fast approaching and many families coming together to celebrate, firefighters are taking the opportunity to remind people to be aware of the fire risks associated with cooking. Deputy Head of Community Safety at London Fire Brigade, Catherine Levin said: “If you’re planning on spending Easter at home, please take extra care in the kitchen. Food can easily catch fire if left unattended so make sure you keep an eye on your hot cross buns and any special Easter meals you may be planning.”

Statistics, taken from the past three years, show that in London:

Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen (in the past three years 10,141 fires began there).
Nearly two thirds of kitchen fires (more than 2,000 a year) start in cookers or ovens
Seven people died and 976 people sustained injuries as a result of fires that started in cookers
Oven fires are usually caused by cooking that has caught fire or because the oven has been left on after cooking 
 

Catherine Levin added: “These figures on kitchen fires are worrying but the most simple way to reduce the risk of death or injury from fire is to fit a smoke alarm in your home.

“Why not buy a smoke alarm as a present for your friends and family this Easter? They cost no more than an Easter egg and could potentially save a life”.

Many fire related deaths are caused by people being overcome by smoke and fumes, not just burns. Therefore, a working smoke alarm is essential. It provides vital early warning and extra time to escape if there is a fire. The Brigade recommends that smoke alarms are fitted on every level of your home and that they are tested weekly.

Notes to editors

For further kitchen fire safety advice, please go to: http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/SafetyInTheKitchen.asp

For more information on smoke alarms, go to: http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/SmokeAlarms.asp