Alcohol or drugs are responsible for double the number of house fires in the run up to Christmas than at any other time of the year, new fire service data reveals.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) tackles around a dozen accidental house fires in December where alcohol or drugs were thought to be a factor in the blaze. The average number of drugs or alcohol related fires in other months of the year is only six.
That’s why drinkers are one of the groups being targeted by the fire service as it seeks to drive down fires this winter, traditionally one of the SYFR’s busiest times of the year.
With cooking making up the majority of alcohol related fires, fire safety officers are urging people to think twice before switching on the cooker after a drink.
Spencer Rowland, Station Manager in Community Safety, said: “The busy Christmas party period is already upon us and we’re not here to stop people having a good time. But people must recognise that by cooking when you’ve been out drinking, you are automatically putting yourself at a much greater risk of fire.
“Seasonal drink drive campaigns have made getting behind the wheel of a car after a drink completely unacceptable and we think the same stigma should be attached to cooking in the home. We’ve attended far too many serious incidents where people have been under the influence of alcohol and fallen asleep with food on the hob or in the cooker, or where drink or drugs have made them uncoordinated and more likely to have an accident.”
To stay safe this Christmas, the public are reminded to:
- Never cook when under the influence of alcohol
- Never use a chip pan- oven chips or thermostat controlled fryers are much safer
- Never leave cooking unattended and switch kitchen appliances off after use