Warning issued after more than 60 fires start in kitchens across East Norfolk

Firefighters attend the scene of a house fire on Addison Road, Gorleston.Picture: Nick Butcher

Firefighters attend the scene of a house fire on Addison Road, Gorleston.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

An increase in the number of kitchen fires across East Norfolk has prompted the county's fire and rescue service to warn residents to take care when cooking at home.

Since April last year, around three quarters of all house fires attended by Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service in the east of the county started in the kitchen.

This amounts to more than 60 fires and many quickly spread to cause extensive damage to other rooms. The statistics, which cover from Gorleston to Morston Quay and areas east of Norwich, are similar to the national picture, which also shows three quarters of accidental house fires start in the kitchen.

Garry Collins, Head of Protection and Prevention at Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, said: 'The majority of kitchen fires are easily preventable. There are two main issues, one is making sure that the kitchen is kept tidy and that flammable items such as tea towels are kept well away from hobs and ovens. The other is distractions, where people are trying to multi-task and are not paying full attention.'

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said: 'I would encourage people to take simple steps to help prevent these incidents.

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Fires started in the kitchen can quickly take hold and spread and most are entirely preventable. Our fire and rescue Service does an excellent job of keeping us safe, but we can all help ourselves by reducing fire risks at home.'

Many fires have been started when people have left the kitchen unattended, including microwaves being left on for too long causing food to catch alight and hobs left on when people leave the room or kitchen surfaces being thick with grease which can catch fire.

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More fires and injuries are caused by carelessness in the kitchen than any other room in the home.

People are advised to keep their kitchen tidy and clutter free, ensuring the cooker is clean and in good working order, and be sure to closely supervise children and pets to help keep everyone safe at home.

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service offers a free home fire safety check. This helps residents prevent home fires by reducing the risk of them occurring and advising how to stay safe if one does happen. For more details see the Norfolk County Council website


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