Fire Service plea to prevent Christmas cooking chaos

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) is reminding residents of how to prevent festive fires in the kitchen this Christmas.

This comes as the Service reports that during the festive period they see a 33% increase in house fires, with kitchen and chimney fires accounting for majority of them. These fires are particularly common amongst lone older people and families with young children.

Denise Turner Stewart, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “We are all aware that there is a higher risk of a fire at Christmas, with more distractions and decorations within our homes. The Service is prepared to respond at any time with our wonderful crews and control staff working 24/7 throughout the festive period but we’re asking you to play your part to prevent fires from happening in the first place.”

Tips to prevent Christmas cooking chaos:

  • Don’t cook under the influence of alcohol.
  • Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out, this way they won’t get knocked off the stove.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • If you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down. Double check your cooker is off when you’ve finished.
  • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • If oil starts to smoke – it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer as they can’t overheat.
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks, turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over burning oil.
  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself – get out, stay out, call 999.

Throughout December, SFRS will also be sharing some family-friendly fire safety tips to ensure that resident’s homes are #SafeForSanta. Smokey, the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Elf on the Shelf, has teamed up with elves all over the country to help children plan safe escape routes, undertake fire safety tests and know what to do in case of a fire.

Councillor Turner Stewart continued, “It’s absolutely crucial that fire safety is at the top of everyone’s Christmas list. People tend to cook more, possibly after the odd tipple, and this can be the recipe for disaster. Whilst we want you all to have a fantastic Christmas, we also want you to stay safe.”

For further information and activities visit

Notes to Editors:

Statistics – SFRS see a 33% increase in house fires during the festive period. 28% of which are chimney fires, and 42% are kitchen fires.


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