Cooking continues to be biggest cause of accidental house fires in South Wales 


Fire and Rescue Service hopes to reduce number of accidental house fires through raising awareness of risks

In the last three years, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) has attended over 2,000 accidental house incidents which were caused by cooking. As part of the national Home Safety Week, which starts today, SWFRS will be looking to share its cook safe messages with the communities of South Wales with the aim of reducing the number of accidental house fires.

However, 40% of the fires attended were ignited by food and the Service is working to raise awareness of how simple behaviour change such as not leaving food unattended can protect homes from the risk of fire. The Service has also found that in the last three years, 51% of injuries received by householders in accidental house fires have also involved food.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has a strong partnership with Electrical Safety First, who have developed their ‘Watch What You Heat’ campaign to prevent householders becoming another fire statistic.

Matthew Jones, Head of Home Safety at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said, “Keeping our communities of South Wales safe in their homes is our priority and accidental fires caused by cooking continues to be one of our biggest challenges. Home Safety Week is a perfect opportunity to ask our communities to think safe when they are preparing meals, but this message goes beyond just one week in the year.

“Our partnerships with organisations like Electrical Safety First mean that we are able to give more than just safety messages, we can signpost and provide information that will keep everyone safe throughout the year.”

SWFRS has the following top tips that they hope that the communities of South Wales will use when cooking:

  1. Stay alert. Use your common sense if you need to leave the kitchen and don’t get too distracted while you cook
  2. Keep your kitchen safe, keep oven mitts or flammable materials away from the hob, keep cooking appliances clean and keep the vents of your microwave clear so it doesn’t overheat
  3. If you have a cooking fire, close the door; leave the room and call 999. Never throw water on hot oil as it can create a fireball. Similarly, never use water on any electrical fire
  4. Always stay alert when cooking and never leave a hob completely unattended. If you are nipping out of the kitchen while something is in the oven, be fully aware of timing and stay nearby
  5. Always switch the oven or hob off immediately after you’ve finished using it
  6. Don’t ever store anything on top of a microwave. This is where the vents are, which ensure that a microwave doesn’t overheat. If these vents are blocked, or even dirty or dusty, a fire is much more likely to escape and spread
  7. Never throw water on chip pan fires as this can create a fireball. Leave the room, close the door, shout a warning to others and call 999
  8. Never cook if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that might make you drowsy. You are more at risk of leaving ovens and hobs unattended as well as suffering burns
  9. Test and maintain your smoke alarm regularly
  10. If a fire does occur in your home – get out, stay out and call 999. Know your escape plan

The Service also recommends that householders register their appliances as Registering is a wise safety precaution as in a very small number of cases, manufacturers may identify problems with an appliance once the product has been in use for some time and they need to get in contact to get the fault corrected as quickly as possible. Registering can also save money through gaining an extended warranty or guarantee period.

For more information about registering appliances, visit and for more information regarding Home Safety Week and the work that SWFRS are doing within its communities, visit


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Page Last Updated on 29/9/2016