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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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A call for careful cooking is being issued after a spate of kitchen fires around Cumbria

A call for careful cooking is being issued after a spate of kitchen fires around Cumbria.

New figures from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service show that between April 12013 and October 31 there were a total of 61 cooking-related incidents county-wide.

The Allerdale and north Copeland topped the chart with 26 incidents and in The Barrow locality, covering Barrow, south Copeland and part of South Lakeland has seen 14 incidents, Carlisle had 17 and Kendal four.

While the number of cooking-related fires has been lower over this period than the same time last year, firefighters are calling on residents to show more care – especially over Christmas when homes up and down the county will be cooking festive feasts.

Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer Ian Cartwright said: “More than half of all accidental house fires start in the kitchen so it’s absolutely crucial that people are aware of the dangers when cooking and take steps to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Getting distracted is often the cause of cooking fires. It’s very easy to forget you’ve got something boiling in a pan or roasting in the oven, so just ensuring you’re switched on and paying attention to what you’re doing in the kitchen can go a long way towards reducing the fire risk.

“Just about every piece of kitchen equipment from chip-pans to toasters and hot-plates to microwaves can be a potential fire hazard if not treated with care.

“As well as being aware of cooking fire safety in your own home, I’d encourage people to look out for their friends, family and neighbours, especially if they’re vulnerable through age or disability and living alone.”

By educating people about fire dangers and promoting prevention rather than cure, CFRS has brought about a major decrease in fire incidents across Cumbria in the last six years – a 47 per cent reduction between 2007-08 and 2012-13.

As a result, CFRS is currently consulting on proposals for better reflecting current risk patterns and shaping the service to the dangers that actually exist.

To have a say on the Fire Service budget proposals, and others within the council’s public consultation, visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/ourfuture or pick up a copy of the consultation document available in local libraries and other public buildings.

A new online self-assessment has been launched enabling residents in Cumbria to gauge their risk of falling victim to fire in the home.

CFRS has created a new web-based home fire safety tool asking a range of questions aimed at identifying the individual's level and type of risk.

The home safety assessment can be found at the following link: https://secure3.cumbria.gov.uk/surveys/cumbria/firehomesafetyv5.htm or completed over the telephone by calling Freephone 0800 358 4777.

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