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South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says Think Safe, Cook Safe

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says “Think Safe, Cook Safe” after stats reveal more than 50% of residential fires are caused by cooking

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) is encouraging local communities to “Think Safe, Cook Safe” after attending more than 2,000 accidental dwelling fires (ADFs) in the last three years.

Service figures show of the 2,027 ADFs 2014-2017, more than half (51%) involved cooking. They have also revealed the highest number of callouts to cooking fires were received in June, July and October; between the evening hours of 4pm and 7pm.

The Service has launched the ‘Think Safe, Cook Safe’ summer campaign initiative, aiming to educate communities across South Wales by raising awareness of the potential dangers of cooking at home.

45% of injuries sustained in ADFs resulted from cooking incidents. Of these injuries sustained, 37% of the people involved were suspected of being under the influence and 44% of involved a person aged 50 or over.

Matthew Jones, Head of Home Safety for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said, “As a Service, we continue to attend a high number of accidental dwelling fires across South Wales and cooking is a significant factor.

“The ‘Think Safe, Cook Safe’ campaign is all about spreading the message to our communities about being safe in their kitchens, especially when cooking, and taking simple precautions to avoid the risks of fire. We want people to be able to enjoy being in their kitchen and cooking.

“Testing your smoke alarm on a regular basis, knowing your escape route and calling 999, are all simple tips that could save your life and your family’s in the event of a fire. We will be out and about over the next couple of months sharing these messages with our communities and look forward to meeting everyone.”

SWFRS offers the following top tips to stay safe when cooking:

• Don’t leave cooking unattended – use a timer if you have something in the oven
• Never cook if you’re sleepy, have been drinking alcohol or have taken medication which makes you drowsy
• Never put water on a grease fire – use a pan lid and take it off the heat
• Test your smoke alarms every month and change the batteries regularly if necessary 
• Make sure you and your family have an escape plan in place and know it in the event of a fire
• If you have a cooking fire – get out, stay out, and call 999

As with most accidental fires in the home, it is essential to take extra care and not be distracted while cooking. For more information about keeping safe and home safety tips, visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk