February half-term has arrived, meaning many children will be spending more time in the kitchen. However, the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) has issued a warning to parents and carers to make sure that children understand the risks and hazards of a hot hob.

As part of the Fire Kills campaign, the HWFRS has asked that parents and carers use this as an opportunity to educate children about cooking safety.

Between 2013 and 2022, Herefordshire and Worcestershire saw a total of 2,036 kitchen fires, resulting in 296 injuries and three fatalities. The majority of the fires were caused by cookers/ovens, followed by grills/toasters, and ring/hot plate on a separate appliance.

Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, stressed the importance of ensuring that children understand fire safety, stating that “there are lots of creative ways to teach kids about cooking fire safety. And it’s absolutely vital that they know what to do if the worst should happen.”

In the event of a fire, Fire Kills has provided a list of tips to ensure that everyone stays safe. Tips include taking care when leaving the kitchen, never taking risks if a pan catches fire, keeping children away from the kitchen and moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach, avoiding loose clothing, and ensuring that equipment is clean and in good working order.

It’s also important to keep one eye on the hob or oven and test smoke alarms weekly. If you think you qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit, you can call the HWFRS Prevention team on 0800 032 1155. Remember, in case of a fire, always stay safe and call 999.