Cooking up a storm? Stay safe

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With around half of all accidental home fires starting in the kitchen firefighters have issued a safety warning in the run up to Shrove Tuesday and Valentine’s Day.

Herts chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: “Following just a few simple tips will help to keep yourself and loved ones safe.”

Those on cooking duty are urged to never leave a pan unattended, don’t leave children alone in the kitchen when cooking, take care when using oil as it sets alight easily and use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer.

If a pan catches fire turn the heat off if it is safe to do so, never throw water on it, get out and call 999.

Householders are also being reminded to have a working smoke alarm on every level of their home and a fire escape plan in place.

Roy said: “Having functional smoke detectors and an escape plan prepared will greatly increase your chances of escaping the house unharmed in the event of a fire. You should check the batteries in your alarms at least once a week and regularly clean them with a vacuum to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor.

“You should also ensure that everybody in your house, including visitors, know what the best escape route is and you should ensure this way out is always kept clear of obstructions.”

For more advice on fire safety visit or call 0300 123 4046.