Don’t let your Valentine’s Day be a recipe for disaster

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is reminding couples to stay safe this Valentine’s Day (14 February) while cooking up romantic meals and enjoying candle-lit dinners.

Kitchens can be dangerous if people drop their guard and although candles add a nice warm atmosphere to any room, their careless use could add more heat than people bargained for.

Cooking causes more accidental fires in the home than anything else so, whatever you are cooking up this Valentine’s Day, make sure it is not a recipe for disaster!

Overall, in the ten year period from 1 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2021 in the two counties, 2,377 fires started in the kitchen.

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

HWFRS Head of Prevention Emma Roberts said:

“We are encouraging people in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to have a lovely evening but 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 is 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 sure 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. 

Why not also see this Flee – Hot Date video , produced by FireAngel in partnership with London Fire Brigade? It is amusing but with a very serious message.