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Commercial Services



Safety in the kitchen

More than half of accidental fires in the home are started by cooking. It is easy to be distracted whilst cooking and leave things unattended.

Safety tips to ensure you cook safely

  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean, a build-up of fat and grease can catch fire.

  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when you are cooking.

  • Keep matches and saucepan handles out of the reach of children to keep them safe.

  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob, take care if you’re wearing loose clothing.

  • Do not leave saucepan handles sticking out to avoid them getting knocked off the stove.

  • Use spark devices to light gas cookers as they are safer than matches and lighters as they don’t have a naked flame.

  • Never leave cooking unattended.

  • Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.

  • Don’t leave electrical wiring near or on top of the cooker.

  • Never overload sockets – use one plug in each socket. If you have to, use a fused adapter and keep the total output to no more than 13 amps (a kettle alone uses 13 amps). Remember, high-rated appliances such as washing machines always need their own socket.

  • Make sure plugs have the correct fuse for the appliance being used. If in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Turn off electrical appliances when not being used and have them serviced regularly.

  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.

  • Avoid cooking if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking medication that can make you drowsy.

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  • Check toasters are clean and crumbs emptied out regularly.

  • Don’t insert metal objects to into a toaster.

  • Ensure toasters are placed away from curtains and kitchen rolls and do not use directly underneath overhanging cupboards.

Microwave ovens

  • Never put anything metal in the microwave.

  • Never attempt to sterilise dish cloths or sponges by heating them in the microwave.

  • Ensure the turntable is working.

  • Never leave your microwave unattended when in use.

Deep fat frying

You need to be especially careful when you are deep-fat frying or cooking with oil because hot oil can catch fire easily.
The safest way to cook food in oil is to use an electric, thermostat controlled, deep fat fryer as they can’t overheat.

Chip pans

  • Never fill a pan more than one-third full of fat or oil.
  • Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on.
  • Make sure that food is dried thoroughly before putting it in hot oil so that it doesn’t spit.
  • If the oil starts to smoke it is too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool otherwise it may catch fire.
  • Never put food into the pan if the oil is smoking.


If your pan does catch fire

  • Turn off the heat under the pan (if it’s safe to do so) and allow it to cool completely
  • Don’t move the pan
  • Never throw water over it - the effects can be devastating
  • Don't use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil - the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire
  • Don't tackle the fire yourself - leave the room, close the door, get everyone out of your home and call 999.

Fire safety equipment for the kitchen

You could consider keeping a fire blanket in the kitchen. Fire blankets can be used to put out a fire or wrap a person whose clothes are on fire.

Don't fit a smoke alarm in a kitchen or bathroom where it could be set off by cooking fumes or steam. If you find your smoke alarm goes off a lot accidentally, you can buy one that is fitted with a 'hush' button. This means you can silence it instantly so you're not tempted to remove the battery (except to change it for a new one).

Ventilation in the kitchen

Check regularly that the ventilation in your kitchen, like range hoods or fans, is working properly and is not blocked up. This is especially important if you have a gas cooker in case any leaking gas builds up.

You can download our handy leaflet (PDF) to remind yourself of our handy hints.   

Got the post pub munchies?


If you are feeling hungry after a night out don't be tempted to turn on your oven, grill or light up the fryer. Pop into your nearest takeaway instead. It's so easy, you walk to the nearest takeaway, have something to eat, then go home to bed safely.

Over 25% of fatal fires that we attend are caused by careless cooking. Don't become a statistic. Don't drink and cook.

Have a good night, have a safe night, be drink aware.

All our safety information can be made available in other languages. Please contact 0800 050 2999 to request a copy.

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