Sporting heroes support kitchen safety event

Students with Goal Keeper Connor Ripley (Centre back) and Cleveland Fire Brigade coaching staff

Paralympian Lee Fawcett and Middlesbrough Football Goal Keeper Connor Ripley teamed up with Cleveland Fire Brigade and the Cleveland Fire Support Network to promote healthy eating and living as part of the Brigade’s Kitchen Safety Campaign at Redcar and Cleveland College last week.

The event was part of a month long initiative aimed at reducing kitchen related fires by reminding people what they can do to help prevent them and also to promote healthy lifestyles and safe cooking. This also coincides with National Chip Week (18th-24th February).

Students from the college participated in wheelchair basketball, ‘beat the goalie’ challenge, football tournaments and Impact Fitness Zone also did kickboxing demonstrations. Staff and volunteers from the Brigade and Fire Support Network also gave a fire safety talk and were on hand throughout the day giving advice and offering free Home Fire Safety Visits.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection said, “Preventing unnecessary death is something that we as a fire and rescue service hold as a top priority, whether the cause is due to a fire or associated illness such as Coronary Heart Disease.

“Promoting a healthier lifestyle makes complete sense for us in terms of reducing fire deaths, damage and injuries as those with poor lifestyle choices are at an increased risk from fire, and are more likely to suffer it’s adverse effects. We want everyone across our communities to live a healthy and safe life and we will do everything we can to promote and support that. Our campaign has six key messages which are:

  • 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

“I would like to thank the Cleveland Fire Support Network for organising this great day with Redcar and Cleveland College, it’s fantastic to have some real local heroes like Lee and Connor supporting the campaign and we hope the students have taken on board our messages as well as enjoyed the day.”

Heather Whyman, Chief Executive of Cleveland Fire Support Network – a voluntary group, that works alongside the Brigade said, “We had over 500 young people including tutors attend this event and we have had great feedback; from students saying what a fantastic day it was. I am delighted with the success which I’m sure will be of great benefit to everyone who participated, especially those who are looking to live independently and now hopefully will do this safer with the advice we have given.”

Lee Fawcett, who competed in Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Fencing in last year’s Paralympics said, “It’s a great opportunity to work with other charities and Cleveland Fire Brigade in teaching the public about healthy living and healthy eating. Tees Valley Titans are all about engaging the public into a healthy lifestyle through wheelchair basketball, so this is a great event for us to support.”

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.