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How to Cook Safely

More than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking. Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or they leave things unattended. Find out how to keep safe while you are cooking and what to do if a fire starts in your kitchen.

There are several things you can do to prevent fires in the kitchen. Make sure you don’t get distracted when you are cooking, and:

  • take pans off the heat or turn the heat down if you're called away from the cooker, eg by a phone call
  • take care if you’re wearing loose clothing as it can catch fire easily
  • don't cook if you have been drinking alcohol or taken prescription drugs - you may get drowsy or lose concentration

Cooker and toaster safety

You can prevent fires when using a cooker or a toaster by following these simple tips:

  • turn saucepans so the handles don't stick out over the edge of the hob or over another ring
  • double check that the cooker is off when you have finished cooking
  • make sure tea-towels aren’t hanging over the cooker and don't put oven gloves on top of a hot cooker
  • keep the oven, hob and grill clean - built-up fat and bits of food can start a fire
  • check that the toaster is clean and well away from curtains and empty the crumb tray regularly

Cooking with oil

You need to be especially careful when you are deep-fat frying or cooking with oil because hot oil can catch fire easily. Make sure you:

  • don’t fill a chip pan or other deep-fat fryer more than one-third full of oil
  • use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer, which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot