Kitchen safety message

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A SAFETY campaign is being launched after kitchen fires claimed six lives in three years.

An initiative is taking place across the Cleveland Fire Brigade area next week to promote kitchen safety.

Figures released by the service show that from 2009 to 2011 there were 614 accidental house fires in Cleveland, 333 of which started in kitchens.

Over the same period, six people across Teesside died as a result of kitchen-related fires in the home and a further 128 were injured.

Kitchen Safety Week will be launched at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, on Monday, February 20, when fire chiefs will pass on key kitchen safety tips to students.

Outside the college main entrance, firefighters will be carrying out chip pan demonstrations to highlight the dangers, while Phil Lancaster, the brigade’s director of community protection, will judge a student cookery competition.

Mr Lancaster said: “The statistics are very clear. Over half of house fires start in the kitchen and of these fires almost two-thirds are caused by people leaving cooking unattended or using old-fashioned chip pans.”

The brigade provides free safety visits and will fit smoke alarms if needed, call (01429) 874063 to arrange a home visit.