Glenrothes Station Manager Graham Arnott has warned of alarming statistics that show more than half of the house fires Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) attend in the town start in the kitchen.
During the period April to September last year there were 18 accidental house fires reported to the service in the Glenrothes area – 10 of which involved food on a cooker.
Mr Arnott said: “At all of these incidents, the householders informed us that they had been distracted whilst they were cooking and had forgotten that the cooker was on.
“Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or they leave things unattended but there are several things you can do to prevent fires in the kitchen.
“Don’t leave pans unattended and take them off the heat if you have to leave the room. Fire starts when your attention stops. When you have finished cooking, make sure the cooker or oven is turned off.
“Make sure you have working smoke alarms and consider fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen.
“Heat alarms are specially designed to quickly detect cooking fires while avoiding false alarms caused by cooking. In the event of fire, a smoke or heat alarm will alert you and give you time to react safely and sensibly. It could save your life.”
He continued: “We work closely with partner agencies and communities to reduce the number of accidental house fires through the delivery of targeted Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) and the installation of free smoke alarms. Our staff carried out 1148 HFSVs in the Glenrothes area last year.
“To help us target our visits, partner agencies routinely share information identifying residents that would most benefit from this free service. However, we do offer HFSV to all Glenrothes residents because our clear goal is to reduce the risk of fire and harm to all householders and their property.”
“Anyone who is worried about a person they know may be at increased risk should put them in touch with us so that our firefighters can get them the support they need and help them stay safe and confident in their homes.”
A wide range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe from fire are available on the SFRS website: www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/for-householders/kitchen-safety.aspx