Fire and Rescue NSW has urged residents to take more care in the kitchen.
“The one we hear all the time when we attend these fires is ‘I only turned away for a second’,” Salamander Bay firefighter Matthew O’Donoghue said.
It’s phrases like that which prompted NSW Fire and Rescue to come up with the phrase ‘Keep Looking When Cooking’.
During the 2015/2016 fire season Fire and Rescue NSW responded to 122,827 emergencies, which works out to be around one call every four minutes.
Kitchen fires are the largest single cause of house fires in NSW and again in 2016, they represented 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries.
“Those figures are definitely representative of what we see in this area,” Mr O’Donoghue said.
“It sounds like common sense to keep an eye on the stove and it probably comes down to complacency.”
The campaign promotes more attention to kitchen happenings in general and not just what’s on the stove.
Fire and Rescue NSW also reminds people not to put anything metallic in the microwave, keep matches and lighters out of reach of children, and to properly store flammable items (aerosols, cleaning agents and cooking oil etc) away from heat sources.
“It’s a good idea to keep the stove area clean from grime and grease as these can fuel a fire,” Mr O’Donoghue said.
“It’s a good idea to keep barbecues clean too.
“Also, make sure you have a working smoke alarm.”