Fire safety in your home - Ramadan and cooking safety

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has just begun. It is a time when Muslims across the world look to take part in this important, annual religious event which sees many within our communities fasting between sunrise and sunset. This year's fast takes place at a time of year when the daylight hours are still getting longer.

Cooking fires are the biggest cause of accidental house fires in Cumbria. Dinner time in many family households can be a chaotic time, with lots of activity around the home but for those observing Ramadan, cooking at unusual times, especially when combined with fatigue can be extra challenging.

Craig Drinkald, Area Manager - Head of Community Safety said: "We would like to wish all members of the Muslim community well during this very important time but also want to take the opportunity to stress the need to remain vigilant to fire risks in the home during this time too, particularly when it comes to cooking in loose clothing.

In previous years, there have been several loose clothing fires within the community resulting in some serious burns injuries. Whilst many of these incidents were as a result of standing too close to heaters it does highlight the issue around wearing loose fitting clothing near heat sources, which in a kitchen could easily occur whilst cooking over gas hobs.

We want to ensure that people stay safe from fire and take into consideration the safety and wellbeing of both themselves and other members of their family."

A few fire safety essentials to keep in mind are:

  • Smoke alarms. Do you have one? Is it working? Do you know what to do if it goes off? Having a working smoke alarm is a great start to being fire safety conscious in the home but its vital everyone knows what to do if it goes off too. Plan your escape route and share it, so that in the event the worst happens everyone knows what to do
  • Loose clothing - keep it tied back. Clothing ignites easier than you may realise, so ensure scarves or long sleeves are a safe distance away from the hob. You should also ensure tea towels, cloths or electrical leads are a safe distance away from hobs too
  • Cooking with oil - When cooking with hot oil be vigilant. If the oil starts to smoke, do not add food. Turn the burner off and allow it to cool
  • Oversized pots - they can be handy when cooking for large groups of people, but using several oversized pots on a gas cooker can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly

Remember if a fire does start, do not tackle it yourself, get out and get the fire service out!

You can get further fire safety information by completing the Safe and Well questionnaire, contacting 0800 358 4777 or emailing hart@cumbria.gov.uk