HOUSEHOLDERS are being urged to take extra care when cooking after a spate of kitchen fires in the last few weeks.
Fire crews responded to 33 kitchen fires across the Tyne and Wear area between April 1 and 24.
The majority of these incidents were as a result of cooking left unattended.
Although nobody was seriously injured in any of the incidents, appliances were destroyed and many of the homes were damaged by smoke.
On Tuesday, April 14, two crews from South Shields and Hebburn attended a fire at a property in Charles Street, Boldon Colliery, caused by a chip pan being left unattended.
In Sunderland, two fire crews from Farringdon Community Fire Station were called to a blaze at a house in Gleneagles Road on Tuesday, April 21, caused by cooking left unattended.
Leaving cooking unattended can have disastrous consequences, even if it’s just for a short time.Dave Jefferson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
In Newcastle, four fire crews from Newcastle Central, Byker and Gateshead Community Fire Stations attended a kitchen fire at a flat in Hawthorn Terrace, Elswick on Thursday, April 2.
The fire was caused by a pan left unattended on the cooker hob.
Group manager Dave Jefferson of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “Most house fires occur in the kitchen, and cooking is one of the biggest causes of kitchen fires.
“Leaving cooking unattended can have disastrous consequences, even if it’s just for a short time.
“The number of recent kitchen fires in our area is a concern, and I urge people to be careful at all times when cooking.
“I appreciate that many of us lead busy lives and it is easy to become distracted, but if you must leave the kitchen for more than a few seconds while food is cooking you should always turn off hobs, grills and ovens as a precaution.”
For further advice on cooking safely visit the brigade website HERE.
The brigade offers free home safety checks to people who are more vulnerable to having a fire, as well as to those who have had a fire.
This includes checking that people have working smoke alarms, that they are in the right place and fitting smoke alarms if required.
It also includes ensuring householders have a fire escape plan in case a blaze breaks out in their home, and that they are aware of the importance of a safe night-time routine, such as closing doors, unplugging electrical equipment and safe disposal of cigarettes.