Half of town’s house blazes sparked by cookers

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Unattended cookers have caused three deaths and nearly 400 house fires in the last three years, fire bosses revealed today.

Fire chiefs are trying to encourage a new ‘mealtime routine’ in a bid to prevent kitchen fires across the borough.

Between 2007 and 2010, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service crews have attended 383 incidents in Doncaster caused by cooking appliances.

And blazes started by cookers account for more than half of all the accidental house fires in the town.

Of the 383 fires, 31 resulted in injuries and three people were killed in South Yorkshire because of cooking-related incidents.

Leaving cooking appliances unattended and failing to switch them off after use are the biggest causes of kitchen fires.

Fire service bosses are urging householders in Doncaster to keep electrical leads and fabrics well away from the hob, never use chip pans, keep an eye on cooking at all times, switch off cooking appliances when cooking is finished and check the hob or oven is off before bed.

The cost of damage caused by the average house fire is more than £25,000.

South Yorkshire Fire Service’s community safety head Steve Makepeace said: “Cooking is by far and away the biggest cause of accidental fires in the home.

“Many are minor, but hundreds more result in injuries and even deaths every year.”