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Fire Service shares its “Recipe for Disaster”

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) staff and volunteers are visiting busy shopping areas this week as part of a kitchen safety campaign.

Firefighters were called to nearly 300 kitchen fires last year, with at least 91 people being injured*. Now, the Service hopes to tackle this by sharing its tongue-in-cheek “Recipe for Disaster”, which lists ingredients and instructions for a dangerous blaze. Its aim is to make people think twice about staying safe while cooking, by drawing attention to what not to do.

Distraction is one of the biggest dangers. In 2018/19, TWFRS recorded 92 fires that were caused by people leaving their cooking unattended – and that number doesn’t include smaller fires that weren’t reported to the Service.

TWFRS Prevention and Education teams will be visiting some of Tyne and Wear’s busiest shopping areas this week to hand out free copies of the recipe card. They’re asking residents to stick the card to their fridge as a reminder to stay safe in the kitchen.

As one Gateshead resident found out recently, fires can start much quicker than most people realise – especially when there’s hot oil involved. TWFRS has shared a new video of Lauren, 22, explaining what happened when her chip pan caught fire. She said:

“As soon as I realised that my kitchen was on fire, I was absolutely devastated – I knew that it would be bad. My first instinct was just to get me, my son and my dog out of the house in time.

I’ve been using chip pans for years and I never realised the dangers until I had my fire. I’ve now decided to use oven chips or microwave chips and I don’t own a chip pan at all.”

Thankfully, no one was hurt but Lauren’s home was badly damaged. Hear Lauren’s story: