26 September 2023

Fire Service finds it hot in the kitchen

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The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) has warned that statistics reveal two out of five cooking fires in the State start because occupants leave the stove unattended.

The Service said that each year the MFS and SA Country Fire Service (CFS) respond to more than 250 cooking-related house fires.

Community Engagement Officer for the MFS, Douglas MacDonald-Taylor said cooking was a task that required full attention, and any distraction may lead to a fire that potentially threatened lives and destroyed property.

Officer MacDonald-Taylor said unsafe cooking practices were among the most common causes of preventable residential fires in the State, costing householders over $2 million a year.

“In South Australia, about 40 per cent of cooking-related house fires are caused by cooking left unattended,” he said.

“Never leave cooking unattended, even for a short amount of time.

“If you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.”

Officer MacDonald-Taylor said MFS and CFS firefighters regularly attended close calls where a resident had left cooking on the stove and fallen asleep.

“This is a dangerous scenario that – without working smoke alarms – can quickly turn fatal,” he said.

He also warned residents never to use water to put out a fat or oil fire.

“Water can cause burning oil or grease to splatter and create a much larger fire, putting you and your family in more danger” he said.

Officer MacDonald-Taylor said safety tips included having a fire blanket and a dry chemical powder fire extinguisher near the kitchen away from the stove and know how to use them safely; regularly cleaning grease from cooking surfaces and range hoods; and never using a stovetop to store items which could cause fire.

Further information on cooking safety from the MFS can be downloaded or listened to at this PS News link.

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