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Students’ fire safety alert

Kitchen fire at a GMFRS Training and Safety Centre demonstration
Kitchen fire at a GMFRS Training and Safety Centre demonstration
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New and returning college and university students are being urged to be careful when cooking in the kitchen.

The warning came after Greater Manchester’s fire and rescue service revealed it has been called out to 62 cooking-related fires at student accommodation since June 2013.

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To help stop these numbers increasing, GMFRS is advising students to:

l Never cook after drinking;

l Get a takeaway if hungry after a night out;

l Always stand by your pan – don’t leave your cooking unattended;

l Keep your oven, hob and grill clean – fat and grease can easily catch fire;

l Don’t put metal objects like tin cans in the microwave; and

l Keep toasters clean and away from curtains and kitchen rolls.

Paul Etches, GMFRS head of prevention, said: “Moving to a new place to start or return to university is an exciting time, but unfortunately accidents do happen which can at best ruin this excitement or at worse become a life or death situation. We go to roughly 10 cooking-related fires a year at student accommodation and while this number may seem relatively low, any fire is extremely dangerous and needs to be avoided at all costs.”

If your kitchen does catch fire:

l Don’t panic and don’t take risks;

l If it’s safe to do so, turn off the heat but don’t lean over the pan;

l Never use water or a water extinguisher on a hot fat fire;

l Leave the kitchen, close the door, tell everyone else to get out and don’t go back in; and

l Call 999

Paul added: “A working smoke alarm can make all the difference if the worst does happen. Make sure your landlord has fitted them in your house or flat and checked that they work. We don’t want to stop anyone’s fun, we just want you to be safe.”