Your Kitchen can kill – safety campaign aims to save lives

102753 - Kitchen Safety Posters A4 - 1 PanCleveland Fire Brigade is launching its Kitchen Fire Safety campaign this Friday (14 February) to raise awareness of the most dangerous room in the home – the kitchen – and how to prevent a fire occurring there.

In 2013, almost 50% of accidental house fires started in the kitchen across Cleveland, the main causes being leaving cooking unattended, chip pans and grill pans. Although this figure has dropped from the 2012 when 65% of accidental house fires were started in the kitchen, Fire Chiefs are still determined to reduce that figure further.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “This is a really important and high profile campaign as almost half of house fires across Cleveland start in the kitchen and by following a few simple tips, they could be prevented. We will be reaching out to all our communities across the area throughout February, in particular those most vulnerable to ensure they stay safe.”

“You wouldn’t really think it but the kitchen is the most dangerous room in your home and it’s where the most fires occur– remember your kitchen can kill.”

“Our campaign’s six key messages are as follows:

  • Stand by your pan – never leave cooking unattended – not event for a second.
  • Clean your grill as fire can kill – always clean your grill after use. Grime, burnt food and fat cause fires.
  • Chuck out your chip pan – it could save your life.
  • Don’t drink and fry – fires start when you fall asleep whilst cooking food.
  • Maintain Electrical Kitchen appliances – a few simple checks can make all the difference to the safety of your home.
  • Don’t hang materials near heaters or cookers – it can easily catch fire.

Throughout the week, students from colleges in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton are competing in a cooking competition with the Inter-College Cookery Final at the campaign launch event at Stockton Riverside College on Friday 14 February.

At the launch event, held between 10.30am-12.00pm which is open to members of the public, there will also be a coffee morning, chip pan demonstrations, fire engines, Learn and Live Home Safety presentations, a free prize draw and much more.

Under the watchful eye of the Cleveland Fire Support Network and fire safety personnel, students taking part in the cook-off will be given a set time to serve up their healthy delicious dishes. Judges include; Jhun Pichay from Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel, Martin Moore from Yarm’s Lotus Lounge, Rashid Iqbal from  Middlesbrough’s Akbars, Richard Ingram from Stockton’s The Waterside Brasserie and Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection for Cleveland Fire Brigade.

The winning team will receive a food and beverage vouchers for Lotus Lounge Hide Bar.

The Cleveland Fire Support Network – a voluntary group who works alongside the Brigade – has organised the cooking competition and are supporting this campaign.

Its Chief Executive, Heather Whyman, commented: “The cooking competition focuses on young people specifically as this is the age group who will shortly start living independently and spend more time in the kitchen preparing and cooking meals for themselves.

“Almost half of house fires start in the kitchen and we will be advising people how incidents can be avoided and how they can stay safe.”

You can visit our kitchen safety house and find out further safety information at or join us on Facebook or Twitter.

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.