New figures released by London Fire Brigade show that London's young professionals are setting fire to their kitchens in record numbers.
Kitchen fires account for over 60 per cent of fires in people's homes. In the last five years there were over 17,500 fires in London kitchens, causing over 2,600 injuries and 24 deaths.
Nearly one in three of these fires is started by a young professional, a fact that surprises Andy Hickmott, London Fire Brigade's Assistant Commissioner for Community Safety, who said: "People often think that serious fires only happen to vulnerable people but that isn't always the case.
"I think, with young professionals more than others, there's an attitude that it won't happen to me. But our latest figures speak for themselves - it can happen and it has to thousands of Londoners."
Sergio Cees, who lives in Kensington, knows only too well how easy it is for a kitchen fire to break out. In June this year he had a kitchen fire caused by a pan of oil being left on the hob. Mr Cees' kitchen was badly damaged and he sustained burns to his feet. He said: "I'm such a careful person so it was a real shock to see the flames. Since the fire I've been quite scared about cooking. I'd say to other people: make sure you take your pans off the hob when you've finished cooking so there's no chance of them catching fire."
Kitchen fire statistics in London:
- Around 70 per cent of kitchen fires are cooking related
- There were 17,510 kitchen fires in the last five years
- 24 people in London have died in kitchen fires in the last five years
- 2,644 people have been injured in kitchen fires in the last five years.
In a bid to reduce the number of fires in kitchens, London Fire Brigade is launching its first ever kitchen fire safety campaign this week, COOKSAFE. A series of events will be taking place across London, aimed at highlighting the fire risks associated with kitchens and the Brigade has produced Recipes for Disaster, a booklet which highlights just how easily kitchen fires can start. The main COOKSAFE event takes place at the Jubilee Market, which is in Borough Market from 1130 am on Friday September 10th. Firefighters, along with a top chef, will show shoppers how to sizzle safely.
To view Recipes for Disaster visit: www.london-fire.gov.uk/cooksafe