London Fire Brigade

Cooking

More fires and fire injuries are caused in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home

Around 60 per cent of accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen. Taking a few simple measures can make all the difference.

How to prevent cooking fires

  • Avoid leaving cooking unattended
  • Don't cook if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that might make you drowsy
  • Take care not to lean over hot hobs and keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
  • Be careful to keep the oven, hob, cooker hood and grill clean to avoid a buildup of fat and grease, which could ignite and cause a fire
  • Use spark devices to light gas cookers - they are much safer than matches or lighters as they don't have a naked flame
  • Double heck the cooker and hob are turned off when you've finished cooking
  • Check toasters are clean and placed away from anything that can catch fire
  • Never put anything metal in the microwave
  • Never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony - burning or smoldering fuel can cause carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Supervise children and pets in the kitchen at all times and keep matches and saucepan handles out of reach

If a pan catches fire

  • Don't tackle the fire yourself and don't attempt to move the pan
  • Never throw water over a fire as it could create a fireball
  • Turn off the heat, if it is safe to do so
  • Leave the room, close the door, shout a warning to others and call 999

Deep fat frying

  • Take care when cooking with hot oil - it can easily overheat and catch fire
  • Never fill a pan more than one-third full of fat or oil
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it's too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool
  • Use an electronic deep fat fryer if possible - they have built-in thermostats to control the temperature