FIRE chiefs are urging people to take extra care when cooking this month.
February sees a number of food-related events taking place including Shrove Tuesday, Valentine’s Day and National Chip Week.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said saucepans left on a high heat or overfilled pans of oil can quickly turn into a life and death situation.
Last year more than half of all accidental fires in homes in England were linked to cooking.
CFRS spokesman Richard Gorst said: “February is a great time to cook with and for family and friends but just a moment’s distraction could turn your kitchen fun into tragedy.
“Unfortunately fires can easily start if people don’t take enough care. By following a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce the risks for yourself and your family.
“I would also urge people to make sure they have a working smoke alarm installed.If there is a fire, a smoke alarm will warn you, giving you and everyone in your home time to escape to safety.”
Top tips for cooking safely
l Take extra care when cooking with oil as it sets alight easily.
l Never leave cooking unattended.
l If cooking oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
l Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer instead of a chip pan as they can’t overheat.
l Avoid children being in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob.
l Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil.
l Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
l If a pan catches fire turn the heat off if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over it and don’t tackle the fire yourself.