FIRE chiefs have issued a plea to ensure tomorrow’s pancake day is a flipping success.
Families were invited to the headquarters of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service as its experts led a master class in making the perfect pancake in the run-up Shrove Tuesday.
They hope the tips they have put together will reduce the risk of kitchen fires tomorrow.
Community safety officer Mark Henderson said: “We’re trying to get people, especially young people, to think about the whole safety side of it, knives, items around the kitchen, as well as the cooking itself.
“People tend to leave pans unattended, tea towels left near the heat and, of course, there’s hot oil.
“We don’t want to see anyone face a fire, but if there is one they should get out and call 999.”
Glen McCloy, who works in the same role with the service, added: “There is a serious side to this fun afternoon for the children.
“We wanted to educate the children and adults of safety in the kitchen, particularly when using pans on a hob.
“We taught them a few basic safety tips, like not getting distracted whilst cooking and not letting the oil in the pan get too hot.
“Simple, easy-to-remember advice that could save you from serious injury.”
The advice comes in the wake of statistics which show the main cause of fires in homes during the last year was cooking appliances, with such incidents accounting for half of all those hurt in blazes.
Sara Bramley, nine, from Durham was among the children taking part in the event.
The St Margaret’s Primary School pupil said: “I found out about how not to burn myself and I didn’t know how to make pancakes before.”
She planned to put her new skills and knowledge to the test in a cookery session at home this weekend with grandparents Barbara and Ken and siblings James, 18, Thomas, 16, and Emma, 14.
Louise Simms, who runs a Get Cooking class, which is part of a national cookery initiative for seven to 11-year-olds, was also involved in the event and will be leading a pancake-making session with her pupils this week.
She said: “This is definitely a good idea.
“We concentrate on the cleanliness side of things because we tend to move the kids back from the cookers.”
More information can be found at www.ddfire.gov.uk