Don’t cook up more than you bargained for on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day warning

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is urging couples not to let the upcoming Valentine’s Day be a recipe for disaster.

Many across Herefordshire and Worcestershire will cook romantic meals and enjoy a candle-lit dinner to celebrate the occasion on Tuesday 14 February.

But kitchens can be dangerous places if people drop their guard and although candles add a nice atmosphere to a room their careless use could add more warmth than people might hope for.

Cooking causes more accidental fires in the home than anything else.

In the 10-year period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2022 in the two counties, 2,036 fires started in the kitchen.

However, with a few simple precautions this should not be the case.

HWFRS Head of Prevention Emma Roberts (pictured below) said: “We are encouraging people in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to have a lovely evening but to still take care.

“Leaving pans unattended, drinking alcohol while cooking and not keeping an eye on things could result in a recipe for disaster rather than romance and potentially a devastating house fire.

“Hot oil can catch fire easily so if a chip pan catches fire never throw water over it.

“Immediately, if you have to leave the kitchen while cooking, remove pans from the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.

“Be cautious with candles too! They may create a romantic atmosphere with candles or tea lights but please don’t leave them unattended, near curtains, etc, and don’t move once lit.

“Also, remember to extinguish them when no longer being used.”

To avoid a fire:

  • Don’t cook while or after drinking alcohol.
  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • Double check the hob and oven are off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Keep candles away from combustible materials such as curtains, Valentine cards and napkins and use a fireproof candle holder.
  • Make sure candles are fully extinguished before going to bed.
  • Ensure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them weekly.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Have an escape plan in place and Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999.

More safety advice can be found at and by following @HWFire #RecipeForDisaster on Twitter. Also the ‘Flee – Hot Date’ video at, produced by FireAngel in partnership with London Fire Brigade, is amusing but has a serious message.