The 19 November is the start of alcohol awareness week and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is working in partnership with Drink Wise Age Well, reminding householders of the dangers associated with fires in the kitchen-specifically around cooking and drinking.
Station Manager, Kevin Patterson said: “Of the 2873 kitchen fire incidents across Devon and Somerset between 2012 and 2017, 302 were where a person was suspected to be under the influence and this was believed to be a contributory factor.”
Darren Walker at Drink Wise, Age Well added: “We’re partnering Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service with the ‘Look When You Cook’ initiative as its key messages overlap with what we at Drink Wise, Age Well are advocating. Older adults who could be isolated, or drinking too much alcohol are particularly at risk of having a house fire, with potentially devastating outcomes.
“The statistics that DSFRS show relating to fires and alcohol is a particularly worrying trend, highlighting the need to be more aware of the effects of cooking whilst drinking alcohol. DWAW and DSFRS joint partnership will help raise awareness, and promote best practice in helping older adults make more informed decisions around alcohol and cooking safety”
The Fire Service advises the following:
· Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking;
· Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk;
· If a pan catches fire, don’t take risks instead GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 999;
· Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking;
· Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob;
· Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone, when cooking;
· Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe;
· Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.