Kitchen fire sparks safety warning

Posted on 31/07/2014 by


smoke_alarmFire chiefs are reminding the public to stay safe while cooking following a kitchen fire in a Dumbiedykes Road flat last night. A man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation at the Royal Infirmary following the incident, and firefighters discovered that the flat did not have a working smoke alarm.

Station Manager Steve Harkins said: “Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or they leave things unattended but there are several things you can do to prevent fires in the kitchen.

“Don’t leave pans unattended. Take them off the heat if you have to leave the room. Fire starts when your attention stops. When you have finished cooking, make sure the cooker or oven is turned off.

“The kitchen can be the most dangerous place in the home. Fire can cause damage not just to your property, but more seriously can put family and loved ones at risk.

“The property did not have a working smoke alarm. We would encourage anyone who doesn’t have a smoke alarm to have one fitted immediately. Smoke alarms save lives. If you don’t have one then call Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit and we will provide you with a smoke alarm free of charge. It could save your life.

“Home fire safety visits only take around half an hour and are delivered by firefighters from your local community. If you or someone you know could benefit from a visit, please join Scotland’s fight against fire and request a visit by calling the SFRS freephone number 0800 0731 999, by texting ‘check’ to 61611 or by contacting their local fire station.”


 Kitchen Safety

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room in the house. Here’s some advice to help you stay safe.

General cooking

Make sure your home has working smoke alarms. Consider fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen

Make sure your cooker is or has been fitted properly by a qualified fitter

Keep your oven, cooker and grill clean and make sure there’s no fat on it

Keep tea towels, cloths and kitchen paper away from the cooker

Keep fats and oils away from the cooker

Cook with handles turned to the side to avoid them spilling

Use a flameless lighter on gas cookers instead of matches or a lighter

You should never:

Hang or dry clothing and towels on or near the cooker

Leave your cooker, grill or oven on when you go out – even on a timer

Leave electrical wires or cords near the cooker

Keep anything on top of an eye-level grill

Put anything metal in your microwave – even tin foil.

Chip pans and deep-frying

Modern electric deep fat fryers are much safer than traditional chip pans as they have a safety switch that cuts them off to stop them overheating and catching fire.

Try not to use a traditional chip pan if you can because there’s always a high risk of fire. If you do use a traditional chip pan, follow our safety advice:

Only ever fill one third full

Turn the handle to the side – but not over any of the other cooker rings

Fry in small amounts – overfilling could cause spills

Make sure food going in it is dry, not dripping wet or covered in ice.

You should never:

Deep fry when you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs or if you are feeling tired

Leave the pan alone – It only takes a second for a fire to start.

Other kitchen appliances

Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers have powerful parts that heat up, any of which could start a fire if something goes wrong. Follow our safety advice:

Always switch appliances off at the wall before going to bed or going out

Always plug straight into a wall socket and avoid adaptors for lots of plugs as they can result in electricity overloads

Never Leave them running when going out or to bed.

Open fires and stoves

Keep all furniture at least three feet away from your fire

Put the fire guard up if you feel sleepy

Let fires burn down before going to bed – and don’t forget to put the guard up

Keep the guard up at all times if you have children or pets

Have your chimney swept at least once a year – twice if you use it lots

Check your hearth regularly – if it’s cracked, have it fixed professionally

You should never:

Leave a lit fire unattended without a fireguard

Use flammable liquids like barbecue lighter fuel to light a fire

Throw flammable liquids or spray cans onto the fire

Use building or packing timber as firewood – it’s very sparky

Dry clothes over or in front of the fire – they could catch light

Place mirrors over the fire – people stand too close and risk setting clothes on fire

For stoves, you should also:

Replace any cracked door glass or casings immediately

Always use certified fire glass in stove doors

Use the right type of fuel (using coal in wood stoves can damage them)

Be careful not to leave flammable items like clothes and paper on top of the stove.


A wide range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe from fire are available on the SFRS website: