COLUMN: Don’t invite the fire service to your Christmas dinner

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As I write it is exactly 14 days until the biggest festive feast of the year - the Christmas dinner!

Phew – I don’t know about you, but in our house, however lovely Christmas is, it’s hectic, fraught, cluttered and jolly all at the same time.

Who needs the next big Christmas storyline from Eastenders when there is a full on Christmas drama waiting to happen in everyone’s kitchen this Christmas.

However, did you know that over half of all accidental fires in England begin in the kitchen and more than half of all fire casualties are caused by kitchen fires?

So, with all the extra hullabaloo Christmas brings to your kitchen, it is important that you really do take extra care this festive season and ensure you and your family stay safe to enjoy the party season.

In the Platts’ grotto we have the following rules for our Christmas kitchen safety: Getting up early to put the turkey in the oven – take care! If you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take care.

Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk. Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished. Avoid leaving children alone in the kitchen.

Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach. Keep leads and appliances away from water.

Take care late at night, most kitchen fires start between 10pm and 4am.

Don’t put anything metallic inside the microwave. Keep the oven, hob and grill clean. A build-up of fat and grease can easily catch fire.

Don’t use matches or lighters to light gas cookers. Spark devices are safer. Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and take care if you are wearing loose clothes.

Finally, ensure you are safe this Christmas. Please take extra care and follow my kitchen safety tips. The last thing firefighters want this Christmas is an emergency invitation to your house.

By Gary Platts

Representative.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.