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Cooking safety warning following kitchen fire in Wrexham


A Senior Fire Safety Officer is appealing to residents to take care in the kitchen over the Christmas period and to never attempt to tackle a fire themselves after an older woman received burns following a fire in her flat on Wisteria Lane, Wrexham this afternoon (Wednesday December 24).


This is the latest appeal regarding cooking safety following a fire in Bangor in the early hours of this morning and a spate of four cooking fires in Rhuddlan, Rhyl, Caernarfon and Dolgellau over last weekend and into Monday.


In this latest incident, two crews from Wrexham were called to the flat on Wisteria Lane, Wrexham at 13.26hrs. A fire in the kitchen was thought to have been caused by cooking unattended. The female resident received treatment by paramedics at the scene for superficial burns to her face after tackling the fire.


Gwyn Jones from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Cooking is a major cause of accidental fires in North Wales, and time and time again we attend house fires which have started in the kitchen - it is so easy to forget your cooking, especially if you are tired, distracted or have been drinking. But the consequences can be devastating.


“No-one wants a house fire – especially at Christmas. The lady involved in this fire tackled the fire herself and received burns. Our advice is to never try to put a fire out yourself – get out, call 999 and stay out.


"Forgetting to turn off the hob, leaving food in the microwave for too long, overheating a chip pan, burning the toast or leaving the oven on could spell disaster in the kitchen and can lead to serious injury or, even more worryingly, the loss of life.”


Here are Gwyn's top tips for safety in the kitchen:

- If you leave the room take the cooking off the heat

- Don't use matches or lighters to light gas cookers. Spark devices are safer

- Always make sure that any handles are turned away from the edge of the cooker

- Keep the oven, hob and grill clean - a build-up fat and grease can easily catch fire

- Never hang anything to dry above the cooker

- Take care if you are wearing loose clothing as it can easily catch fire

- When you've finished cooking make sure everything is turned off

- Turn off electrical appliances when they are not being used

- Never use a chip pan - use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer, air fryer or use oven chips

- Get fitted with smoke alarms - they are free of charge and could save your life.

- Never run back into the property, once you are out stay out! Inhaling the smoke could seriously affect your chances of coming out of the property a second time.

- Cooking after drinking is a recipe for disaster. Countless fires are caused each year by people returning home from the pub and deciding to cook a snack for themselves before going to bed. Play it safe, and prepare a snack before you go out or pick up a take away on the way home instead.


Gwyn added:

“Smoke alarms save lives. I'd ask everyone to consider elderly or vulnerable family or neighbours, and ensure they are safe too. The early warning provided by a smoke alarm can provide vital minutes to help them escape unharmed. We've had a number of incidents recently involving older people cooking or trying to keep warm and it's vital that we as a community look after the more vulnerable amongst us.


“Have a safe and happy Christmas and please keep safety in mind when cooking over the festive period.”

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