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Last updated: 09/07/2018, 6:17 PM

World Cup cooking is a fire hazard, warns Brigade

12/06/2014 00:00
Safety warnings

London Fire Brigade said today it wants people to get a takeaway instead of cooking under the influence of alcohol which could lead them scoring an own goal during the World Cup.

The advice comes ahead of a 24 hour strike by the Fire Brigades Union, which is set to coincide with World Cup opening day on Thursday, 12 June.

The Brigade is encouraging fans who might be feeling hungry after a few pints to order a takeaway instead of running the risk of burning their house down.  

The last World Cup saw an increase in house fires as sozzled footy fans tried to cook post-match snacks.

The Brigade’s stats from the 2010 South African World Cup show:

• There were 620 house fires during the month-long tournament – around 20 a day.
• Half of those were in the kitchen, with 40 per cent caused by cooking being left unattended.
• There were 65 fire related injuries, one for every game played.

An extra 2.2 billion pints were sold during the last World Cup and the Brigade is concerned that there will be an increase in alcohol related cooking fires.

Fire chiefs have today launched the World Cup Takeaway campaign aimed young professionals - who cause more than a quarter of all accidental house fires in the capital, often by attempting to cook at home after having had a drink. This greatly increases the risk of someone having a serious fire which could destroy their home or, even worse, kill them.

The Brigade’s campaign urges people to grab a takeaway during the World Cup and features adverts which have been translated into Italian ahead of England’s crunch fixture on Saturday.

Takeaway firm JUST EAT is lending its support by offering online vouchers for competitions run on the Brigade’s Twitter page.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“With the World Cup on and the FBU on strike make it your goal to get a takeaway rather than cooking drunk. If people cook tonight under the influence of alcohol they could be putting themselves and the people they love in danger.”

UK Managing Director at JUST EAT, Graham Corfield, said:
“We’re in full support of this campaign and would encourage everyone to be safe when staying up to watch the football, whether they are drinking alcohol or not. If you’re celebrating champagne moments, or drowning your sorrows during the match, ordering a takeaway beforehand will line the stomach, while ordering on the way home could save your life. There are thousands of local takeaway restaurants available through JUST EAT, so you’re free to enjoy the night without risking anyone’s safety.”

As during previous strikes, the Brigade will have 27 fire engines based at strategic locations and contingency crews will deal with emergencies across London during the strikes but it will not replicate a normal service and some less serious incidents, like fire alarms and bin fires, will not be attended.

The FBU strikes are planned for Thursday, 12 June from 9am for 24 hours and Saturday 21, June between 10am and 5pm.

Brigade alcohol figures show that:

• Two fires a day happen after Londoners have been drinking.
• One in four people who die in a fire has alcohol in their system.
• Three quarters of alcohol related fires are caused by cooking under the influence.
• Over half of these fires happen because someone has fallen asleep.

Alcohol consumed during the World Cup

Online research company fast.MAP survey suggested that 68 per cent of football fans will increase their beer budget and with the games all in the early to late evening people will be filling the pubs or watching it with mates at home. There has been a long established connection between cooking fires and alcohol intake.

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

Mosaic Group G ‘Young, well-educated city dwellers were found to be responsible for 25 per cent of London’s fires. The lifestyle data provides a detailed and accurate understanding of each citizen's location, their demographics, lifestyles and behaviours.

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.

During the strike firefighters will attend:

Serious fires –  like those in Londoners’ homes – confirmed by a 999 call
Fires that involve gas cylinders or hazardous substances.
Vehicle fires or boat fires
Fires at railway stations and rail and road tunnels or fires involving people in underground tunnels
Aircraft or train crashes
Road traffic collisions
Collapsed structures

During the strike firefighters may not be able to attend:

Grass fires and other outdoor fires such as trees, hedges or undergrowth alight.
Rubbish fires (including fires in bins and skips) and fires on open ground.
Animal rescues (these will be referred to the RSPCA).
People shut in lifts (owners of buildings are responsible for ensuring arrangements are in place to release people from faulty lifts).
Flooding Automatic fire alarms – a fire engine will only be sent when the fire has been confirmed by a 999 call.

Research by the Brigade in 2010 also showed that:

•             Alcohol is suspected as being an influencing factor at 1 in 19 fires in the home.
•             Where people are involved (as a fatality, casualty or rescue) then alcohol is suspected as being an influencing factor in 1 in 7 of accidental fires in the home.
•             Where alcohol is a factor in the fire, the main cause is most often ‘cooking’ (75 per cent). The behaviour most often associated with the cause of the fires where alcohol is a suspected factor is either falling asleep (56 per cent) or being distracted (11 per cent).
•             Alcohol had been consumed by the victims of 1 in 4 fire deaths in the home.