Make sure pancakes are not a flaming disaster

SAFETY is the extra ingredient Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service would like you to add to the eggs, flour and milk mix on pancake day.

Shrove Tuesday (February 12) means fun in the kitchen for all the family, however, the novelty and excitement of making pancakes can make people less cautious with cooking.

In Cambridgeshire there were 44 fires in the home caused by cooking between April and December last year (2012) and 52 per cent of all 178 house fires that happened in this period started in the kitchen.

Common causes of cooking-related fires are a build up of fat or grease, cooking left unattended and cooking with hot fat.

Wendy Coleman, Community Risk Manager at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “At this time of year, a common scenario can be families tucking into their freshly made pancakes, forgetting that they have left their frying pan on the hob, burning away. Or they forget to turn the hob off and place tea towels over the hot plate or ring.

“As well as the obvious threat to life that a fire can cause, the damage caused to your kitchen could cost hundreds of pounds to replace.”

For a fun but safe Shrove Tuesday, take on board our tips:

• When finished cooking pancakes, take the frying pan off the hob and turn off the heat source.

• If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.

• If children are in the kitchen helping to make pancakes, make sure they are supervised and take extra care.

• Smoke alarms will give early warning of a fire – make sure yours is working, checked weekly and in the correct place

• If a fire does break out in the kitchen, do not try and tackle it yourself.

Get out, close the door and dial 999.