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Fire service's warning after four deaths and 752 fires linked to cooking in 2021

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has launched a new campaign after four people lost their lives following house fires linked to chip pans last year.

The Cook Safe campaign urges residents to be aware of the dangers of cooking-related fires and take simple steps to keep themselves and their families safe in the kitchen to help prevent fires.

It follows the deaths of four residents as a result of suspected chip pan fires. It's the first time they have been the main cause of fire-related death since 2007/08.

Chip pans also accounted for 40 per cent of all accidental fire deaths in the home in 2021.

Firefighters were called to 752 accidental cooking fires in the home in 2021, nearly half of all accidental dwelling fires that the service responded to last year.

GMFRS say there are some simple steps people can take to reduce the risk of a kitchen fire, which are: 

  • Don’t use a chip pan. Try oven alternatives or use a thermostatically controlled fryer
  • Never leave your cooking unattended
  • Don’t get distracted while cooking
  • Take care when frying - hot oil or fat can easily catch fire‚Äč
  • Never cook if you’ve been drinking alcohol

As part of the campaign, Greater Manchester residents will see messages across social media as well as on buses and local media on how to stay safe in the kitchen.

Area Manager Billy Fenwick, GMFRS’ Head of Prevention said: "Tragically, we saw a number of deaths relating to cooking fires last year. This highlights the devastation fires in the home can cause and why it’s so important to take care in the kitchen.

“Around half of all accidental fires in the home start because of cooking and we want to work with our communities to keep people safe and reduce the number of cooking fires we attend.

“My plea to residents is please take care in the kitchen by following our simple advice on how to cook safely.”

Greater Manchester residents can get personalised advice to keep their homes safe from fire by using a new online Home Fire Safety Check tool.

This can be accessed on the GMFRS website, and members of the public can complete an online home fire safety check to help identify fire hazards in their home and get advice on simple changes that can reduce the risk of a fire.

Residents who would like a free, face-to-face Home Fire safety Assessment, delivered by trained GMFRS staff, should complete the online check to find out if they are eligible. Those who are eligible can then complete an online referral form.

Those without online access can telephone 0800 555 815 to find out if they are eligible for a Home Fire Safety Assessment.

For more cooking fire safety advice, you can visit the GMFRS website here: Cooking and kitchen safety

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