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Keep Looking When Cooking campaign in bid to prevent deadly house fires

Published: 5th June 2017

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging people to take extra precautions in the kitchen to protect themselves from deadly house fires, which have already claimed five lives this year.

FRNSW Community Safety and Research Chief Superintendent Jeremy Fewtrell said kitchen fires accounted for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW.
“Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires,” he said.

“Because of these telling statistics, we have launched this Keep Looking When Cooking campaign to remind people that they must never leave cooking unattended in the kitchen.”

Superintendent Fewtrell said each year, FRNSW firefighters respond to an average of 3,865 house fires.

“On average, about 21 people die in house fires annually and some 500 people are injured,” he said.

“Sadly, already five people have died in 2017 as a result of accidental fires in their homes in NSW.

“It takes just minutes for a household fire to spread but just seconds to avoid these incidents.

“To avoid kitchen fire catastrophes, we urge people to “keep looking when cooking”. It’s a simple way to avoid losing your home or even worse, your loved ones or your own life.”

To help share this important message, FRNSW will be distributing mini-mags through local community hubs. The mini-mags feature five recipes from FRNSW firefighters, spanning multiple cuisines. Additionally, the public are encouraged to share their own recipes on social media, using the hashtag #KeepLookingWhenCooking – FRNSW will be sharing some of the best through their own channels.

FRNSW recommends the following simple safety checklist for home cooks:

  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
  • It takes just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.
  • Don’t put anything metallic in the microwave.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Store flammable items (aerosols, cleaning agents and cooking oil etc) away from heat.
  • Don’t cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Keep loose clothing, fabrics, tea towels and curtains away from the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inwards to avoid being knocked or grabbed by children.
  • Keep your oven and rangehood clean. Excess grease and fat can ignite in a fire.
  • Don’t use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors.
  • Never overload power points or power boards in the kitchen.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.

If your pan catches fire, remember:

  • Never use water to put out a fat or oil fire
  • Turn off the stove and use the lid to cover the flame
  • Get out, stay out and call Triple Zero ‘000’.

Further information can be found at http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=9228