Fire warnings from the news

February 13, 2015 6:20 am

I read a number of newspaper headlines about fires this morning, all of which could easily have been prevented. Luckily no one was seriously hurt in any of them, but they could have been so much worse.

The first one actually had a quite amusing headline – ‘Eat oven chips instead’ – but there is method in the madness. This was advice issued by the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, after they’d attended in the space of eight hours three fires caused by chip pans. According to the Yorkshire Post, the Area Manager for Fire Safety made the following comment: “Chip pans can be very dangerous as obviously the oil can reach incredibly high temperatures and if that ignites you have a very serious fire on your hands. We advise that people use other methods of cooking – such as oven chips which may also be healthier.”

The second was also a little startling: “Drunk man in court after trying to start ‘unsuitable’ coal fire in living room”. Apparently, according to the Daily Post, the chimney hadn’t been used for 30 years and the man had been warned about this, but he still lit a fire which resulted in a small fire. The emergency services were called and extinguished the fire. They advised him not to use the chimney until it had been properly opened up by a professional – but he ignored this advice, lit another fire and the emergency services were called to second fire. The consequence was that he was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace.

We’ve written a lot recently about the danger of chimney fires and the key advice is to have your flue swept regularly by a professional – and never use a chimney which has been out of use for some time unless it’s been properly inspected.

The third echoes a blog we wrote recently about the dangers of e-cigarettes. According to the Norfolk Evening Daily Post, a fire started when a woman left her device charging while she had a bath. Luckily no-one was seriously hurt but it could have been so much more serious if this had happened when no one was at home or if they had gone to bed. As more and more people try to give up smoking by using e-cigarettes, this danger can only grow.