Some of the service’s staff and volunteers are heading out to busy shopping areas across Tyne and Wear as part of a kitchen safety campaign, which will see a quirky recipe-style card handed out to families in a bid to spread the message.
The ‘Recipe for Disaster’ card lists ingredients and instructions for a dangerous blaze, and draws attention to what not to do and how to stay safe while cooking.
Firefighters were called to nearly 300 kitchen fires in 2018, with at least 91 people injured between April 1 that year, and March 31, 2019.
Fires can start much quicker than people realise, with distraction being one of the biggest dangers.
Lauren, 22, fell victim to a chip pan fire at her home. The property was left badly damaged.
She said: “As soon as I realised that my kitchen was on fire, I was absolutely devastated – I knew that it would be bad. My first instinct was just to get me, my son and my dog out of the house in time.
“I've been using chip pans for years and I never realised the dangers until I had my fire. I've now decided to use oven chips or microwave chips and I don't own a chip pan at all."
In 2018 to 2019, Tyne and Wear recorded 92 fires that were caused by people leaving their cooking unattended – and that number doesn't include smaller fires that weren't reported to the service.
The brigade’s prevention and education teams will be out and about this week, issuing free copies of the recipe card.
Residents are being reminded to stick it to the fridge in their kitchen as a reminder to put their safety first.
If you want to visit them, here's where they’ll be:
- The Nook Shopping Centre, South Shields – Wednesday, July 10, 10am-3pm
- The Galleries, Washington – Thursday, July 11, 10am-12.30pm
- The Bridges, Sunderland – Thursday, July 11, 1.30-3.30pm