Fire and Rescue NSW are warning local residents to ‘keep looking when cooking’ to prevent losing your home, life or loved ones.
FRNSW Community Safety and Research Chief Superintendent Jeremy Fewtrell said kitchen fires accounted for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW.
This makes kitchen fires the largest single cause of house fires in NSW.
“Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires,” Supt Fewtrell said.
“It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.”
Captain Tony Hackenberg from Kempsey Fire station said kitchen fires usually start when people turn away from the stovetop, get distracted by their television or phone or simply fall asleep.
“Hundreds of injuries happen every year due to kitchen fires, so we’re urging people to keep looking when cooking and avoid cooking catastrophes this winter.”
Since the beginning of this year, at least 53 people have been injured in kitchen fires alone.
Burns can result in a lifetime of consequences on health and well-being, often needing intensive and ongoing medical intervention and long-term rehabilitation.
FRNSW recommends home cooks never leave cooking unattended.
If you do leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
Don’t put anything metallic in the microwave.
Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
Store flammable items (aerosols, cleaning agents and cooking oil etc) away from heat.
Don’t cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Keep loose clothing, fabrics, tea towels and curtains away from the stove.
Turn pot handles inwards to avoid being knocked or grabbed by children.
Keep your oven and rangehood clean because excess grease and fat can ignite in a fire.
Don’t use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors.
Never overload power points or power boards in the kitchen.
Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
If your pan catches fire never use water to put out a fat or oil fire.
Instead, turn off the stove and use the lid to cover the flame
If fire is uncontrollable, get out, stay out and call triple zero ‘000’.
To view kitchen fire safety videos see www.macleayargus.com.au