Dunfermline Station Manager warns of the the dangers of unattended cooking

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The Dunfermline and South West Fife area attended 37 accidental house fires from April to September.

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Dunfermline Station Manager Mark Bryce warns of alarming statistics that show 95% of the house fires attended in the area were due to unattended pans in the kitchen.

During the April to September this year there were 37 accidental house fires reported to Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Dunfermline and South West Fife area. 

Of the 37 accidental house, 24 of these involved food on a cooker. Thankfully only two of these incidents required SFRS intervention, the rest were extinguished prior to our arrival.

Station Manager Bryce 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.

“We also want people to take action to prevent fires from happening in the first place and the fact is more house fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. Fire can cause damage not just to your property, but more seriously can put family at risk.”

Firefighters want residents to consider their own safety and the safety of those close to them, with people urged to check if older family members, neighbours and friends have working smoke alarms.

With the Dunfermline crews routinely conducting free home fire safety visits, we want to hear from anyone who thinks they could benefit from firefighters’ advice.

SFRS staff within the Dunfermline area delivered a total of 369 Home Fire Safety Visits during this time and delivered 352 HFSV in the South West Fife area.

SM Bryce said: “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.

“Supporting the targeted delivery, partner agencies routinely share information identifying residents that would most benefit from this free service. However, we do offer HFSV to all Dunfermline and South West residents because our clear goal is to reduce the risk of fire and harm to all householders and their property.”

“There was no one killed as a result of fire during this period. However, three of these incidents involved a casualty, although they only required a precautionary check up. This only goes to remind us that we cannot be complacent and we must continue to work closely with our partners in other public agencies and voluntary organisations to prevent people in our communities getting hurt unnecessarily as a result of fire."

Station Manager Bryce continued: “Christmas is a time when people do look out for others and think about their well-being. That can make a real difference and help us prevent tragedies.

“It only takes a couple of minutes to check that someone’s smoke alarms are working properly and it really could save their life.

“Anyone who is worried 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.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would like you to have a very happy, safe Christmas and New Year.  If you or someone you know is vulnerable or may be at risk from fire please get in touch and arrange a FREE home fire safety visit with local firefighters by calling 0800 0731 999 or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk

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/winter

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