More than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking. Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or they leave things unattended.

How to Cook Safely

Cooking Safely

  • Make sure saucepan handles don't stick out - so they don't get knocked off the stove
  • Take care if you're wearing loose clothing - they can easily catch fire
  • If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll
    • Stop what you are doing
    • Drop to the ground
    • Roll to smother the flames
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
  • Double check the cooker is off when you've finished cooking
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob
  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order.  A build up of fat and grease can ignite 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. They are safer around children, too.
  • Check toasters are clean and not placed under kitchen cabinets or close to anything that can catch fire.
  • Never put anything metal in the microwave.
  • Avoid cooking if you are very tired, have been drinking alcohol, or are taking medication that can make you drowsy.

Deep fat frying

  • Take care when cooking with hot oil - it sets alight easily. 
  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil. 
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn't splash. 
  • If the oil starts to smoke - it's too hot.  Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. 
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer.  They can't overheat.

What to do if a pan catches fire

  •  Don't take any risks.  Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so.  Never throw water over it.
  •  Don't tackle the fire yourself - Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.

 Your kitchen electrical appliances

  • Essential electrical items such as your fridge and freezer are designed to be left on 24/7 to store food at the right temperature
  • Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers are not designed to be left on overnight or whilst out of the house. Some may have a timer setting but having the appliance on whilst you’re unable to monitor it creates a risk to your kitchen.
  • Work top appliances such as your toaster and kettle should never be positioned near anything which could catch light e.g. curtain, kitchen roll or too close to an overhanging cupboard.
  • Always use your appliances as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.