Four need oxygen after Stotfold kitchen blaze, with firefighters sounding a ‘take care while cooking’ plea for holiday weekend after spate of 999 calls

The aftermath of a string of kitchen fires has prompted safety advice from Bedfordshire's fire and r

The aftermath of a string of kitchen fires has prompted safety advice from Bedfordshire's fire and rescue service - Credit: Archant

A string of kitchen fires which marred the Christmas weekend have prompted Bedfordshire’s fire and rescue service to urge people to be more careful in their kitchens over the coming holiday break.

The aftermath of a string of kitchen fires has prompted safety advice from Bedfordshire's fire and r

The aftermath of a string of kitchen fires has prompted safety advice from Bedfordshire's fire and rescue service - Credit: Archant

In the most serious incident, in Stotfold on Monday evening, firefighters from Shefford and Baldock were called in to tackle the kitchen blaze. Three adults and one child were treated with oxygen therapy by firefighters for the effects of smoke inhalation at the scene in Hyde Avenue before being passed into the care of the ambulance service.

Crews tackled three other incidents in the county over the weekend, and community safety officer Andy Martin said: “These fires turned out to be small and were put out quickly, but they could easily have turned into something more tragic.

“Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls or family. So whatever happens elsewhere in the house, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.”

The Fire Kills campaign’s top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are:


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Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.

If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – get out, stay out, and call 999.

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Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.

Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.

Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.

Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.

Take care with electrics - leads and appliances away from water and place grills and away from curtains and kitchen rolls.

Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.

Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.

Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn’t overheat.

Never throw water on a chip pan fire.

In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.

Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.

For more information on fire safety, visit www.facebook.com/firekills

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