Unattended kitchen appliances a recipe for disaster

This winter, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is reminding residents to be vigilant in the most fire prone room of the house – the kitchen.

QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said while the kitchen is often the heart of the home, unfortunately it is also full of fire hazards. 

“This year our firefighters have attended close to 900 house fires across Queensland. That’s approximately five a day,” Ms Carroll said 
 
“Almost 50 per cent of these started in the kitchen.”   
 
Ms Carroll said although kitchen fires occurred year-round, they were more common during cooler months. 
 
“So far this winter, there have been 93 kitchen fires in homes, many of which could have been prevented,” she said.   
 
“Kitchen fires can start from seemingly harmless everyday appliances like toasters, microwaves and stoves, and they can have devastating consequences.
 
“A pot left boiling on the stove unattended, can spark, and potentially create a blaze to spread throughout the house within minutes.” 
 
Ms Carroll said there were plenty of ways to reduce fire risk while working in the kitchen.
 
“Never leave cooking unattended and always supervise children in the kitchen,” she said.
 
“Do not use water to extinguish fat or oil fires; always clear away food crumbs and scraps from cooking appliances after use and keep electrical appliances away from water and open flames.”
 
Ms Carroll also advised residents to have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket accessible in the kitchen and know how to use them. 
 
In addition, smoke alarms should be checked regularly and all households should have a well-rehearsed fire escape plan in place.  
 
“If a kitchen fire does occur and can’t be safely put out, residents are urged to switch off the appliance if they can, leave immediately, and call Triple Zero (000) from a safe place,” Ms Carroll said. 
 
“Under no circumstance should you re-enter the house.”
 
For further information on how to improve fire safety in your kitchen and other parts of the home, visit https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au.

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