Are you making some pancakes today? Make sure you stay safe in your kitchen!
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has advised people to be careful on Shrove Tuesday (February 17th) and to add safety to their milk, egg and flour mix.
Although Pancake Day should be a time for fun in the kitchen for families across the UK, the excitement and novelty of making and flipping pancakes can make cooking more dangerous, and this seemingly-innocuous tradition has been implicated in a lot of home emergencies.
Between April 2014 and January 2015, there were a total of 49 house fires in Cambridgeshire alone. This represents an increase of almost 43% compared with the same timeframe 12 months ago, when this 10-month period saw just 28 house fires.
Some of the most common causes of fire in the kitchen include cooking with hot fat, leaving pots and pans unattended and allowing grease and fat to build up.
Therefore, to stay safe over Shrove Tuesday, the fire service offered the following tips:
- When the pancakes have been cooked, turn the heat off and remove the frying pan from the hob.
- Oil begins to smoke when it is too hot. If your oil starts smoking, turn the heat off and leave the pan to cook down.
- If children are also making pancakes, make sure they are supervised and be extra-careful.
- Check that your smoke alarm is working and that it is in the right place. Check your smoke alarm every week. These devices will warn you if there is a fire and give you vital seconds to escape.
- Don’t try to extinguish kitchen fires yourself – instead, leave the room, close the door behind you and call 999 from a safe place.
Watch Commander Clive Allen, of Green Watch Cambridge, said that on Pancake Day, people reach for the lemon, sugar and frying pan, but in some instances they also need the fire service.
He said it is important for people to ensure they do not leave kitchen and cooking equipment unattended when making pancakes, noting that it only takes a few seconds for unattended cookers and pans to catch alight and create a life-threatening blaze.
One common scenario is when families begin to eat their pancakes, but forget they left their frying pan on their hobs, while another is when people do not turn the hob off and leave a tea-towel over the ring or hot plate, Mr Allen added.