Peterhead house fire sparks kitchen safety advice

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Station Manager Colin Westwood is urging residents not to cook late at night and never leave cooking unattended

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A kitchen fire which left a Peterhead householder with severe smoke inhalation has once again highlighted the dangers associated with cooking late at night.

Firefighters from Peterhead and Maud were at the scene in Duncan Crescent within minutes following a call from a member of the public who was passing the property at 5.38am on Sunday (14 February 2016). The caller had heard the fire alarm in the property sounding and smelled smoke.

Crews rescued a man from the property. He was suffering from severe smoke inhalation and firefighters gave him oxygen therapy before handing him over to paramedics.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus quickly dealt with the fire, before carrying out a search of the neighbouring properties. After establishing that all residents were accounted for crews ventilated the affected property using specialist fans.

Station Manager Colin Westwood said that the vast majority of house fires start in the kitchen and he is urging members of the public to think about the ways in which they can prevent such a fire happening in their home.

He said: “Most kitchen fires happen when people are not concentrating on what they are doing or they leave cooking unattended. There are ways 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.”

SM Westwood also highlighted the importance of having a working smoke alarm fitted. The weekend incident in Peterhead is testament to that as the alarm was heard by a member of the public who was passing the property at the time.

He said: “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."

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service works 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.

Station Manager Westwood continued: “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 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 free Home Fire Safety Visit is so easy to arrange. You can get in touch in the following ways: call 0800 0731 999 or text "FIRE" to 80800 from your mobile phone. A wide range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe from fire are available on the SFRS website: /your-safety/for-householders/kitchen-safety.aspx

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