Young and District firefighters are urging people to take extra care when cooking this summer as nearly half of all home fires start in the kitchen.
Station Captain Ryan Terry said enjoying a bit of summer cheer with family and friends can turn nasty if a fire breaks out during celebrations.
“While you enjoy the precious moments with your loved ones, please don’t be complacent as fires can and do happen,” he said.
Captain Terry said it was easy to be distracted when in the kitchen.
“It is really important to keep looking at your cooking and never leave cooking unattended – even for a moment,” he said.
Captain Terry said if local residents followed a few simple guidelines, they could avoid a fire in their kitchen this summer.
“We would advise people to install a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen and familiarise themselves with how to use them,” he said.
“Other handy tips would be to turn your pot and pan handles inward away from children’s reach.
“Also service, clean and maintain your barbeque correctly, never put flammable liquid or accelerants onto a barbeque and don’t cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Captain Terry said he also recommended re-alarming your home with a 10-year lithium battery-powered photoelectric smoke alarm
"Installing an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms and testing them regularly is the first step in your home fire safety plan," he said.
"Make sure keys to all locked doors are readily accessible in case you need to escape.
"Also, never smoke in bed and take extra care if consuming alcohol whilst smoking, don’t overload power points and switch off appliances when not in use."
Captain Terry said that simple measures can be taken to avoid fire around the home.
"Always keep lighters and matches away from children and educate them that they are tools, not toys to only be used by responsible adults," he said.