Braced for a Euro blaze rise

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South Yorkshire firefighters are bracing themselves for a rise in cooking fires, as new figures reveal a shock increase in blazes during the last big football tournament.

Kitchen fires went up by nearly a quarter during the World Cup in South Africa two years ago, with 39 in just one month.

So firefighters are urging people not to mix cooking with alcohol and never to leave cooking unattended, as Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine is well under way.

The county’s firefighters tackled more than 300 cooking related house fires last year alone, resulting in 75 injuries.

During the Diamond Jubilee weekend firefighters went to seven more kitchen fires, mostly caused by cooking being left on the hob.

East area manager Steve Makepeace, said: “Expectations for the England football team might be low this summer, but sadly we fully expect to see another rise is kitchen fires as millions settle down to watch the tournament and probably have a drink at the same time.”

“Alcohol and cooking just don’t mix. It makes you uncoordinated and more likely to have a fire, and less likely to escape if you do have one. So if you’ve been to the pub to watch the match, grab a takeaway on the way home instead. And if you just can’t tear your eyes from penalty shoot out, turn the cooker off and take the pan off the hob.”

The Kitchen Nightmares campaign aims to reduce cooking related fires, which account for half of all house fires in South Yorkshire.

To back the drive, the public are being asked to keep electrical leads and fabrics away from the hob, never use a chip pan, keep an eye on cooking at all times and never and to switch off cooking appliances after cooking and before bed.

For more information visit www.syfire.gov.uk