Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are using the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Home Safety Week, from 1st-7thOctober, to remind the public to take care when cooking, after more than half of all accidental fires in the home last year started in the kitchen.

During 2017/18 DWFRS attended 787 accidental dwelling fires throughout Dorset and Wiltshire, with 62% of fires occurring in the kitchen area. Over half of those kitchen fires were caused by unsafe cooking practices; this includes leaving cooking unattended, leaving items too close to the cooker, chip pan fires and poor use\maintenance of cooking equipment.

Safe and Well Manager Vikki Thomas said “Cooking takes place in almost every home, every day. We want to remind members of the public that this every day activity can be really dangerous. Cookers should be left clear and turned off when you’re not cooking, if you have to leave the kitchen for any reason whilst cooking please take pans off the heat or turn them down. Finally, if you are unlucky enough to experience a fire, please get out of the house, stay out and call 999. Please remember to check your appliances regularly; ensuring they are clean and fit for purpose.”

Vikki added: “NFCC Home Safety Week is the perfect opportunity to take a look at the fire safety measures in your home, with fresh eyes. We recommend every home has a working smoke alarm on each level and this is tested once a week. DWFRS also suggest that heat alarms are fitted in areas like the kitchen to alert you to a fire and we will be fitting these as part of our Safe and Well visits going forward.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue provide free Safe and Well visits with aim of making you safer in your own home. These visits involve a member of DWFRS staff visiting the home and providing you with bespoke home safety advice on the use of candles, cooking, electric blankets, overloading sockets, chimneys, low energy light bulbs and much more. They even fit or replace smoke alarms, if appropriate. This is all free of charge with the aim of encouraging you to think about fire safety in the home.To request a free Safe & Well visit, or to find out more information about being safe at home, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety/safety-at-home

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