Shrove Tuesday marks the start of Lent – and for many, it signifies an evening of pancakes topped with a choice of sweet treats. But with all that frying and flipping comes the added risk of accidental fire and even more need to take every precaution when it comes to fire safety. Here, we discuss ways in which you can protect yourself from fire – and what to do if one does take hold.
Cooking with hot oil
Around 60% of accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen so it stands to reason that families could be more at risk at this time of year. In the couple of weeks leading up to Pancake Day, test your smoke alarm to ensure it’s working properly. For added peace of mind, test it just before you begin cooking your pancakes.
When you’re using a frying pan or cooking with hot oil, don’t ever leave it unattended. Children and pets should be supervised in the kitchen at all times and pan handles should never be left sticking out over the edge of the cooker, as they’re more likely to be knocked off and cause injury.
Take care to keep all areas of your oven and hob – including the cooker hood – clean, as a build-up of fat and grease is more likely to lead to a fire starting. If the oil begins to give off smoke, don’t put the food in the pan.
Don’t leave tea towels, cloths or oven gloves near the hob and once you’ve finished cooking, make doubly sure the cooker and hob are switched off.
What to do if a pan catches fire
In the event a fire does break out, don’t attempt to tackle it yourself, move the pan or throw water over it – doing this (or using a water extinguisher) may create a fireball. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so but the main advice is to get out, stay out and call 999.
Take a few extra safety measures this Shrove Tuesday and ensure the evening remains a fun one for all the family.