FIRE chiefs are warning people to take care when cooking this Christmas and New Year.
Cleveland Fire Brigade has launched a Stay Safe and Celebrate campaign to help keep people from harm over the holiday period.
Over the last three years –from 2009 to 2011 – more than 50 per cent of accidental house fires in Cleveland began in the kitchen – and almost half of those were caused by people leaving cooking unattended.
The Brigade is urging people to follow these import tips to stay out of danger:
l do not drink and fry – if you are drinking alcohol, order a takeaway or eat cold food rather than take the risk of cooking something yourself while your alertness is impaired;
l stand by your pan – take pans off the heat and turn off the hob and grill if you have to leave the kitchen while cooking;
l keep cooker and grill pans clean as burnt food and fat causes fires;
l chuck out chip pans.
Les Jones, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s head of Community Safety, said: “Above all, we are urging people never to leave cooking unattended however short the period and to avoid trying to cook when they have had a few drinks.
“They should also ditch their old-fashioned chip pan and replace it with a safer alternative such as a deep fat fryer as chip pans have been the cause of countless fires over the years.”
To help keep you and your family safe from fire this festive season, call the Fire Brigade on (01429) 874063 for a free Home Fire Safety Visit.