Kitchen fire safety

Cookers and microwaves

  • Keep electrical leads, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker.
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean. A build-up of fat and grease can easily catch fire.
  • Don't put anything metallic inside the microwave.


Cooking safely

  • Don't leave pans unattended. Take them off the heat if you have to leave the room.
  • Use spark devices to light gas cookers instead of matches or lighters.
  • Keep the oven door shut and when you've finished cooking, make sure the cooker or oven is turned off.
  • Avoid cooking when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol – get a take out instead.


Kitchen appliances


Many electrical fires can be prevented simply by regularly checking the condition of the wiring, plugs and sockets. If any of these are hot to the touch or appear to be burnt, there is a problem that needs to be rectified before something catches fire.

A fuse that keeps 'blowing' is a sign that there is a fault with the wiring or the appliance and this should be investigated by a qualified electrician. Flickering lights can also indicate a problem.

  • Make sure all sockets and switches are at least 30cm from the sink
  • If an appliance is fitted under a worktop (for example a dishwasher) the socket can be hard to reach. These appliances should be controlled by a switched fuse-connection unit mounted above the worktop.
  • Get all electrical work carried out by a qualified electrician.


Using your appliances

Always consult the manufacturer for the correct way to operate your kitchen appliances.

  • Never use electrical appliances or switches with wet hands
  • Keep all electrical appliances clean and in good condition to reduce the risk of a fire. Never clean an appliance which is still plugged in.
  • Clean away fluff from tumble driers after every use.
  • Only leave appliances plugged in for as long as they need to be. Many appliances do not need to be plugged in when not in use.
  • Never leave appliances running at night or when the house is unoccupied. If there is no one to discover the fire it will soon spread to the rest of the house. If you are asleep at the time you will be at much greater risk.