Warning to East Devon families cooking at Christmas

PUBLISHED: 10:39 22 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:46 22 December 2016

Fire engines2

Fire engines2

Archant

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue have given advice on preventing fires in the kitchen this Christmas.

Fire fighters are warning that, although it’s important all year round, the extra distractions at Christmas make it vital to be vigilant during the festive season. More than half of accidental fires during the Christmas period are started in the kitchen making this a high risk area.

There are several things people can do to prevent fires in the kitchen:

• Never leave cooking unattended - a moment’s distraction can lead to damage in your home to the value of thousands of pounds – or in the worst case a tragedy

• Take pans off the heat or turn the heat down if you’re called away from the cooker, e.g. by a phone call

• With all the Christmas celebrations avoid cooking after drinking alcohol or taken prescription drugs - you may get drowsy or lose concentration

• Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing as it can catch fire easily

• Turn saucepans so the handles don’t stick out over the edge of the hob or over another ring

The fire service is also warning people to plan an escape route in the event of a fire.

People should make sure their family and visitors staying for the festive period know what to do in an emergency. They should also make a fire escape plan and check everyone knows it.

Should a fire break out, family and friends are being told to be aware of the danger of toxic smoke as most people ‘vastly underestimate’ its deadly strength.

A fire service spokesman said: “They overestimate how long they have to escape should a fire break out.

“The reality is that just two to three breaths of smoke in a fire can render a person unconscious.”

People are also being advised to check their smoke alarms by ensuring they have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home.

People should test their smoke alarms on a regular basis and never remove batteries to power presents.

The spokesman added: “This Christmas clean your smoke alarms so all your family and friends are safe.”

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue is offering free home safety advice. Anyone interested should ring 0800 0502999

For any other fire safety advice, contact the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue helpline on: 01392 872288 or visit our website www.dsfire.gov.uk

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