Cooking safely was on the menu in Bognor Regis

Firefighters made sure healthy eating was on the menu when they dropped into the  Laburnum Centre SUS-150220-141004001
Firefighters made sure healthy eating was on the menu when they dropped into the Laburnum Centre SUS-150220-141004001

FIREFIGHTERS caused a bit of a stir when they dropped by to talk cooking safety in Bognor Regis.

Bognor Fire Station’s Green Watch spent this morning (Friday, February 20) at Age UK’s Laburnum Centre, Lyon Street chatting to a group of over 65s about how to reduce the risk of having a fire in their kitchen.

Recent figures have revealed that around two-thirds of the accidental house fires in West Sussex start in the kitchen, with many caused by careless or unattended cooking.

Green Watch Manager, Jon Etherington, who organised the visit, said: “In Bognor, two-thirds of fires in the home start in the kitchen, a statistic that is a real concern for us.

“We know that just the smallest lapse of concentration can have devastating consequences, especially for some of our older generation who may be more vulnerable to injury from fire.

“We are always trying to find engaging ways to promote safer cooking habits.

“The talk today covered a range of safety advice including not leaving pans unattended, getting into the habit of switching off appliances, cooking safely with oil, as well as the importance of testing smoke alarms regularly and making an escape plan in case a fire breaks out.”

Jon’s tips on staying safe in the kitchen include:

. Kitchen fires start when people stop paying attention to what’s on the hob - if you are called away from the cooker then take pans off the heat

. Clean toasters, hobs and grill pans regularly to avoid a build-up of crumbs or fat which can easily catch fire

. Keep your cooker top clear and don’t put oven gloves or tea towels down onto a hot cooker after you’ve used them

. Ditch your old chip pan! Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep-fat fryer or swap to oven chips instead

. If you do have a fire in the kitchen, don’t take any risks - get everyone out and dial 999

. Working smoke alarms really do save lives - make sure you have on each level of your home and test them weekly!

If you’re over 65 West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service can help you stay safer in the kitchen with a FREE Home Fire Safety Check. Call 0845 872 9719

For those who didn’t have the chance to chat to our firefighters they can find more cooking safety information by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire