Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service highlight the causes of accidental house fires, and warn that the most common cause is cooking.

Over the last six months there were 175 accidental house fires in Gloucestershire. The kitchen is the most dangerous room in your home - but Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is keen to change that. It is issuing some helpful tips on staying safe as part of National Chip Week, which runs from February 21-25, and the half-term holiday.

Gloucestershire told FIRE: "Although smoke detectors undoubtedly save lives, they do not prevent a fire occurring in the first place. Homeowners need to take the necessary precautions and actions to minimise the risk of a fire occurring.

"It's important to keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order because a build-up of fat and grease can start a fire. Take care when cooking with oil - if it starts to smoke, it's too hot, so just turn off the heat and leave to cool. Don't cook if you have been drinking alcohol.

"Children should not be left alone in the kitchen when cooking on the hob, and keep the saucepan handles and matches out of their reach. If you have to leave the kitchen, take pans off the heat and keep electrical leads, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker."

Rich Lake, Head of Operational Response, said: "Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has been working hard over a number of years to improve community safety by promoting the fire safety messages to the public.

"We also have a dedicated team of community safety advisors who provide free home fire safety checks particularly to those most vulnerable to fire such as the elderly, smokers and those without existing smoke alarms"

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service carried out over 3,770 home fire safety checks last year, which involves a short visit to identify fire hazards, highlight how a fire may occur and if necessary fit smoke detectors or test existing detectors.

Cllr Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member for community safety, said: "With half term during February 21-25, there will be lots of children enjoying cooking with their parents and we want to make sure that everyone keeps safe in their kitchens.

"At Gloucestershire County Council, we are always keen to help people help themselves and I would urge everyone to follow our simple tips and stay safe."

For fire safety advice please visit, or to book a free Home Fire Safety Check you can contact your local community fire station, phone 0800 180 41 40 or register online at


Posted: 09.52am, 21.02.11