Safest People, Safest Places

Don’t Forget the Special Ingredient this Pancake Day

Eggs, flour and milk are the traditional ingredients for pancakes, however this year, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service would like you to add one more - safety.

Almost half of all house fires in County Durham and Darlington last year were caused by cooking-related accidents, so the Service is keen to avoid the Pancake Day celebrations on Tuesday spilling over into blazes. 125 out of the 281 (45%) houses fires attended last year were fires involving cooking related appliances.

Keith Wanley, Community Safety Manager, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said “Shrove Tuesday can mean fun in the kitchen for adults and children alike however the novelty and excitement of making pancakes often makes people less cautious with their cooking.  We are urging all residents to check they have turned off all pans and appliances before tucking into their delicious freshly made pancakes.”

Whilst preparing a meal it is important that you never leave any cooking or kitchen appliances unattended. It only takes a few seconds for an unattended pan or cooker to ignite and develop into a serious and life threatening fire.

David Hollows, Community Support Officer, said: “Overheated oil in pans, deep fat fryers or dirty ovens and grill pans, along with unattended cooking are the main cause of cooking fires.”

“A moment’s distraction could result in you been faced with a serious fire that could take your home or your life. By following some simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire:

  • People are advised not to leave pans unattended, to turn saucepan handles so that they don’t stick out from the hob, and to never fill a pan more than a third full of fat or oil
  • If the oil starts to smoke, they should not begin cooking but instead should remove from the heat and leave it to cool
  • The oven, hob and grill should be kept clean, and items should not be kept on top of a hob in case it is accidentally turned on
  • Smoke alarms should also be fitted on every floor of your home and the batteries regularly tested

If the pan catches fire:

  • Switch off the heat, if it is safe to do so
  • Get out, closing the door behind you
  • Call 999

To help keep you and your family safe from fire, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service provides free home fire safety advice. Please contact 0191 3755561 for further information. 

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