Stay safe from fire on Pancake Day

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Shrove Tuesday marks the beginning of Lent, when hundreds of people throughout the country make pancakes, before they begin a 40 day fast.

When you are distracted by the tantalising image of a delicious, warm pancake sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar, fire safety may not be at the forefront of your mind! However, fat and chip pan fires can be devastating, with a very high proportion of fires resulting in injuries.

Between 1 Jan 2011 and 31 Dec 2020 in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, there were 2,465 kitchen fires and there were sadly three fatalities. There were 19 incidents where the victim went to hospital with serious injuries, 106 incidents in which victim went to hospital with slight injuries, 134 incidents where first aid was given at scene and 72 incidents in which a precautionary check was recommended.

The top three sources of ignition were: Cooker (including oven) – 46% (1130), Grill/Toaster – 11% (263), Ring/hot plate (separate appliance) – 9% (218).

station ground had the most incidents – 18% (450), followed by Redditch
– 14% (335) and Hereford – 12% (289).

Emma Roberts, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Risk manager, said: “Making pancakes can be lots of fun for the whole family and they certainly can be delicious.

“However, over half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen so please take care, especially when cooking with hot oil.”

Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service offers the following safety tips.

When using a frying pan or cooking with hot oil, remember:

· Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on

· Do NOT move the pan if it is on fire! If the pan does catch fire:

· Don’t take any risks. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over it.

· Don’t tackle the fire yourself.


“And when you have finished cooking, make sure that all the appliances are turned off and the cooking area is clear,” added Emma Roberts.

Working smoke alarms will greatly increase your chances of escaping unharmed. Have an escape plan and follow it – know exactly which way you will leave your home and know where you will go.

Stay alive, stay safe, and make sure your smoke alarms work properly;

· Test your smoke alarms every month

· Change the battery every year (unless it’s a 10-year alarm)

· Clean it out properly at least twice every year, by vacuuming the inside.

For further advice on fire safety, contact Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 032 1155.