Residents are urged to not to let their meal plans go up in smoke on Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday. 

When preparing a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day, on Saturday, February 14, or tossing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, February 17, people are urged to stay safe from fires in the kitchen.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) advises that food should never be left cooking unattended and people should ensure they do not get distracted and forget that food is on the hob.

Residents are also urged not to cook if feeling tired and not to cook while under the influence of alcohol.

In 2014, across Merseyside, firefighters attended 481 accidental dwelling fires caused by food cooking in the kitchen. Of those, 175 were in Liverpool, 115 were in Wirral, 92 were in Sefton, 52 were in St Helens and 47 were in Knowsley.

Kevin Johnson, MF&RS Home Safety Manager, said: “We want people to enjoy special occasions but advise that they take simple precautions in the kitchen, which can help them stay safe from fire.”

It is also National Chip Week from February 16 to February 22 and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is supporting the national campaign Fire Kills in urging people to take care when cooking chips.

In 2014, across Merseyside, firefighters attended 171 fires involving chip pans or deep fat fryers in the home. Of those, there were 69 in Liverpool, 40 in Wirral, 25 in St Helens, 24 in Sefton and 13 in Knowsley.

People are advised to take care when cooking with oil as it sets alight easily. If the oil starts to smoke or gets too hot, people should turn off the heat and leave it to cool.

Residents are also urged to swap their chip pans for the safer option of thermostat controlled deep fat fryers or to opt for oven chips.

A pan should not be overloaded with oil and should never be filled more than a third full. Food should be dry before it is put in oil so that it does not splash.
Children should not be left alone in the kitchen while food is cooking on the hob.
Kevin Johnson added: “If a pan catches fire, people should never take any risks.

“They should turn the heat off if it is safe to do so and should never throw water on it. People should never tackle the fire but should get out, stay out and call 999.

“People are advised to have a smoke alarm fitted on each floor of their property and to test them regularly.”

For free fire safety advice call 0800 7315958 or go to

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