Fire Safety gets a Grilling - Fire Service Reveals Cooking Top Cause of Accidental House Fires

To mark the launch of North/South Fire Safety Week today, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) released figures showing that cooking or cooking appliances are the top cause of accidental house fires.
Fire Safety gets a Grilling - Fire Service Reveals Cooking Top Cause of Accidental House Fires

To mark the launch of North/South Fire Safety Week today, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) released figures showing that cooking or cooking appliances are the top cause of accidental house fires.

NIFRS revealed that crews attended a total of 826 accidental house fires in Northern Ireland last year of which 284 (34%) were caused by cooking or cooking appliances as they challenged the public to reflect on the theme of this year’s campaign - ‘What can you do to stop fire?’  129 (45%) originated from the hot plate/ring area on a cooker or stove and 70 (26%) from the grill or toaster.   

The statistics were released for North/South Fire Safety Week 2017 which is launched today (2 October) at Central Fire Station in Belfast.  Last year tragically 9 people lost their lives as a result of accidental fires.  56% were aged over 60 and 78% lived alone. 

Lending support at today’s launch and playing their part in helping people take action to stop fire, Dame Mary Peters is urging all those aged 60 and over to take advantage of the free Home Fire Safety Checks offered by NIFRS.  She is joined by Gemma McDaid from L’Derry who is advising everyone to have a working smoke alarm after her lucky escape from a house fire during the summer.

Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) explains:

“This North/South Fire Safety Week we are raising awareness of the biggest causes of accidental fires and we’re challenging the public to think about some of the practical steps they can take to prevent fires in the home. 

“Fires from cooking and cooking appliances can be avoided by keeping the oven and grill pans free from a build-up of oils and grease which can easily catch fire.  Flammable items such as tea towels and oven gloves should be kept away from the cooker top and always check that the cooker or hob is turned off when you have finished cooking.  

“More accidental fires happen in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.  It’s easy to get distracted but our advice is never to leave cooking unattended - it’s a very simple message but it has the potential to be lifesaving.

“We know that people aged 60 and over, those that live alone, are disabled or have mobility issues are more at risk of a fire at home.  That’s why we are offering anyone who falls into one of these categories a free Home Fire Safety Check.  Firefighters will install or check that smoke alarms are working, help to identify any obvious dangers and advise on an escape plan.

“We will be running our ‘STOP Fire’ campaign on radio and TV starting from 2 October.   ‘STOP Fire’ is an easy to remember fire safety tool for everyone to use.  It’s an instant check list focusing on fire safety basics – Smoke alarms, Test them, look out for Obvious fire safety dangers and Plan your escape routes.  This enables everyone to quickly decide what fire safety actions they need to take to help keep them fire safe. Our crews will be attending events throughout the week to highlight these important messages.

“Our ultimate goal is that no-one in Northern Ireland loses their life due to an accidental house fire and reducing the risk of a fire occurring in the first instance will ultimately help us achieve this goal.”

 

Eamon Woulfe, Chief Fire Officer, Louth Fire Service, added: “I would like to echo ACFO Walmsley’s comments which certainly reflect our experience in the South.

An increasing percentage of house fires are caused by cooking practices and, similar to the North, the incidence of serious house fires has been much higher for older people living alone.  We will be using this year’s Fire Safety Week messages to increase public awareness of home fire safety risks, through our fire safety campaigns, with the objective of further reducing fire fatalities in the home.”

 

 

Added by
MARIA MCNAMEE