THE local fire service has issued advice on how to stay safe while cooking a romantic meal this Valentine's Day.

Royal Berkshire and Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has given out the advice as part of a month-long campaign helping Berkshire to reduce the risk of causing a cooking-related house fire.

Every year, more accidental fires in the home nationally are caused by cooking than anything else.  What’s more, cooking-related fires tend to result in the most non-fatal casualties and the second most fatalities, after smoking products.

RBFRS says that many cooking fires can be easily avoided by following these top tips:

  • Never leave cooking unattended, even for a minute.
  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics - keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol or using drugs that affect your judgement.
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999. 
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them weekly.

For more information about how to stay safe in the home, visit