Alarm over blazes in the kitchen

LISMORE firefighters are calling on people to be careful in the kitchen after a woman was badly burnt in a cooking fire at her Frederick Street home on Monday night.

The 32-year-old suffered serious burns to her hands, face and legs and was rushed to hospital.

It was the second kitchen fire in Lismore in a week, and station deputy captain Tony Elliott said it was time to step up the educational campaign.

“This poor woman was just lucky that her whole house didn't catch on fire,” he said.

“In the other fire the flames just went up and the ceiling was burnt.

“A lot of people just panic and forget that you can't put water on fat and oil fires.

“It's just going to make it worse, much worse.

“Cooking is something that we do on a daily basis and people can easily get distracted, whether it's by the kids or the TV or something else.

“It's important never to leave the cooking unattended.”

If cooking oil does catch fire, do not use water to put it out.

Mr Elliott said you should turn off the hotplate and cover the saucepan with a lid.

Otherwise, use a fire blanket or moist tea- towel to cover the flames.

“Smothering the flames takes the oxygen away and the fire just dies,” Mr Elliott said.

“So cover up the fire, give us a call and then get out of the house.”

Installing a small fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen can also help, but residents must know how to use them.

“You can get them from any hardware store. Just take the time to get a demonstration or read the instructions,” Mr Elliott said.

And people should also make sure their smoke alarms work properly.

Mr Elliott said alarms were still the best way to prevent serious injury and death in a house fire.

Elderly people can sign up for the Smoke Alarm Battery Replacement for the Elderly program. Firefighters come to the home at regular intervals to check the alarm batteries.

For more information about fire safety in the home, call Lismore Fire Station on 6621 5660.

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