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Cooking Safely

More than half of accidental fires in the home are started by cooking.

There were over 500 cooking fires in Lancashire last year. Many were caused by people getting distracted or using the cooker as storage.

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Take pans off the heat or turn the heat down if you’re distracted or called away from the cooker.

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Use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer, which will make sure fat doesn’t get too hot.

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If you’re off enjoying a night out, consider preparing some food for when you come home or perhaps visiting a takeaway instead if you are hungry. Cooking under the influence of alcohol is a really bad idea.

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Don’t overfill a pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.

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Don’t store items on cooker hobs. Radiated heat can easily ignite combustible items. It is easy to accidentally turn on the wrong dial for the hob or oven.

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Avoid storing items in the oven incase it gets switched on accidentally. However if you do, it is best to ensure they are clean and free from a build up of grease or food residue.

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If your pan does catch fire, don’t throw water over it; especially if you were cooking with fat or hot oil.

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Be very careful if you are wearing loose clothing.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service – Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking is something we all do. But with more than half of accidental fires in the home each day being started by cooking, it is important to remember to stay safe. We have provided some easy-to-remember advice to help you reduce the likelihood of having a cooking fire in your home.

If you do have a fire in your home, do not attempt to put it out. Get out, stay out, and call us out via 999.

Cooking Safety Tips

From ovens and grills to hobs and microwaves, many of the appliances in our kitchens can cause fires. One of the major risks is frying or grilling food that is left unattended. Distractions such as the doorbell or your children/pets can take your mind off your cooking. Do not forget that fires can start easily.

There are a few simple things you can do to make cooking as safe as possible:

  • Avoid leaving saucepan handles sticking out – children can grab them, or you might knock it off the hob.
  • Be wary of loose-fitting clothing when cooking on the hob.
  • Make sure tea towels and dishcloths are kept away from any heat sources.
  • Make sure the oven or hob is off after you are finished.
  • Do not leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the room, turn the hob off.
  • Keep all cooking appliances clean and in good working order.
  • Do not use grills or ovens as storage space when not cooking.
  • If you have been drinking or using drugs, consider ordering food to be delivered rather than cooking for yourself.

Deep Fat Frying Safely

The tips we have already looked at can help to greatly reduce the chances of fire or injury. But if you deep fry food, there are a few extra things to remember:

  • Do not overfill pans or fryers with oil – keep it to 1/3 volume maximum.
  • Pat food dry before dropping it in the oil to reduce splashing.
  • If your oil begins to smoke, turn down the heat and wait for it to cool.
  • Thermostat-controlled fryers are safer because they cannot overheat.
  • Never throw water onto an oil fire. This is extremely dangerous.
  • Never attempt to extinguish a pan fire. Get to safety and call 999.

Cooking using deep oil can be more hazardous than other methods of cooking. Take extra care with loose-fitting clothing, especially sleeves and scarves which can catch fire.

If your clothing does catch on fire, remember to Stop, Drop, and Roll. This technique has been proven to extinguish the fire quickly and potentially reduce burn injuries sustained.

More Resources

We are pleased to offer safety advice for additional, related topics. These pages can help you protect yourself and your family. These links will take you to more helpful advice.

For more information on how to stay safe at home, please contact Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service today. Call us on 01772 862545 or fill in the contact form on our Contact Us page.


Below is an interview with Ben. He had been on a night out with friends, had a bit too much drink, and decided to cook some food when he got home. Unfortunately for Ben, he fell asleep whilst his food was still cooking.