You may or may not be surprised to learn that cooking is one of the main causes of house fires across the UK. We recently read that cooking is actually the leading cause of house fires in Northern Ireland with 34% of house fires reportedly having been started by cooking or cooking appliances. This got us thinking about how these incidents occur and how they could be prevented in the future so why exactly are these numbers so high?
Causes of House Fires
We’re going to stick to the Northern Ireland case as an example as we managed to gather lots of interesting data on how these blazes occur within Northern Ireland. In total, fire crews attended 826 accidental fires last year and 284 (34%) of these were caused by cooking or cooking appliances. Of those, a total of 129 fires originated from the ring area or hot plate of a cooker or stove.
A further 70 occurred from a grill or toaster with these figures having been released by the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service at the start of Fire Safety Week. Last year 9 people died because of accidental fires and we are urging every one of our readers to consider the steps that they can take to avoid blazes in their own homes or workplaces.
Such high numbers that are related to cooking incidents are a real cause for concern but there are some simple measures that you can take to prevent these from happening. Simple steps such as keeping flammable items such as tea towels and oven gloves away from the cooker top can make a world of difference.
Looking at the Workplace
While our data relates to the causes of house fires, these incidents can happen in the workplace as well. It would be silly of us not to mention ways in which you can reduce the chances of fire in the workplace – especially during Fire Safety Week! There are a few things to consider when looking at fire safety protocols in your workplace with regards to cooking.
It can be very easy to be negligent in your work canteen because it is not your own home but the risks are just as great in the workplace. Leaving appliances on overnight and no employee taking responsibility for checking these appliances can lead to a higher chance of fire in the workplace. Some other things to consider would be the build-up of oils and grease in your microwave or cooking appliance within your office canteen or workspace.
Making these simple checks could prevent a fire from occurring in the future. The individual in charge of fire safety in your workplace should consider any cooking materials that are used in your office or canteen. Of course, we have much more info available on our website and if you are looking for a knowledge refresher in workplace fire safety then take a look at some of the courses on our site or get in touch today.