Brigade chiefs hail fire safety campaign

A week-long campaign to highlight kitchen safety has been hailed a success by Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Cookery student Daniel Brown shows off his culinary skills under the watchful eye of Phil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Director of Community Protection during the launch at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Kitchen Safety Week ran from February 20th to 26th and involved a wide range of initiatives including giving advice to students in local colleges and Teesside University, chip pan demonstrations, competitions, leaflets, radio advertising and the use of social media to spread key safety messages.

Figures show that over the last three years (2009 to 2011) in Cleveland there were 614 accidental house fires, 333 ( 52%) of which started in the kitchen. Over the same period, six people in Cleveland died as a result of kitchen-related fires in the home and a further 128 were injured.

Les Jones, Head of Community Safety with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “We are very pleased with the way the week-long campaign went. It gave us an opportunity to reach out to many people across the Cleveland area and I am sure they will take our safety messages on board.

“In particular we were keen to focus the campaign on students because this is the phase in their lives when they are most likely to be spending more time in the kitchen preparing and cooking meals and it is really important to get into safe cooking habits as early as possible.

“I’d also like to thank the media for their support. During the week the campaign was covered extensively by newspapers, radio and television and online and this will help enormously to get our messages across.”

Cleveland Fire Support Network (CFSN) volunteers worked alongside firefighters promoting key safety messages.

Heather Whyman, Chief Executive of the Cleveland Fire Support Network, added: “We had a brilliant response from students at the colleges in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland and Teesside University.

“Overall, we gave out information to around 2,500 students and they all listened attentively to the advice we provided. I am confident that they will apply our kitchen safety tips in future which will enable them to stay safe and avoid injury to themselves and others.”

The Brigade’s key kitchen safety messages are:

  • Stand by your pan – take pans off the heat and turn off the hob and/or grill if you have to leave the kitchen while cooking
  • Keep your cooker and grill pan clean – burnt food and fat causes fires
  • Chuck out your chip pan – it could save your life
  • Don’t drink and fry – order a takeaway or eat cold food if drinking alcohol
  • Maintain electrical kitchen appliances and keep away from water

To help keep you and your family safe from fire, the Brigade provides free Home Fire Safety Visits and will fit smoke alarms if needed. Call 01429 874063 to arrange a visit to your home and you will receive specific fire safety advice for you and your family. 

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