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Take extra care in the kitchen at Christmas 10 December 2008

Chip pan fireTHE Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service is reminding householders to take extra care in the kitchen this Christmas.

Advice is being issued as part of the winter safety campaign in a bid to reduce the number of emergency call-outs. Kitchen fires continue to account for a large percentage of the operational incidents attended by Manx crews, according to the latest cause analysis statistics. Unattended chip pans, ovens and grill pans are the main contributors, while faulty washing machines and tumble dryers have also been responsible for a number of 999 calls.

As people generally spend more time at home during the festive holidays, additional demand is placed on a range of kitchen appliances. Consequently, firefighters are urging local residents to be aware of potential fire hazards and to take the appropriate safety measures.

Station Officer Carl Kinvig said: ‘An alarming number of calls attended by the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service are kitchen based. Many of these incidents are preventable and steps should be taken to make home environments as safe as possible. We would encourage people to get rid of their old chip pans and replace them with thermostatically controlled electric fryers. Also, don’t leave washing machines, tumble dryers or dishwashers running overnight or while you are out. They can be a fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors.’

The Christmas party season can also increase the dangers of household fires as people may be tempted to cook a hot snack after a night out. Alcohol impairs judgment and people have sometimes forgotten about pans left on the stove or have fallen asleep while food burns under the grill.

Station Officer Kinvig warned: ‘Do not attempt to use the cooker if you have been drinking as the consequences can be devastating. And always remember to test your smoke alarms on a weekly basis as working smoke alarms save lives.’

For further information about fire safety, or to arrange a free home visit, contact 647329.

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