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Is your kitchen dirty enough to cause a fire?
Homeowners are being urged to get their kitchens in order or risk putting themselves at risk of a “grime fire”.
Thousands of residents in Brighton are putting themselves at risk of a house fire and possible serious injury to themselves and their families because of dirty and messy kitchens.
The busy lives of Brightonians mean they are neglecting their cleaning duties according to research by the Electrical Safety Council.
“Grime fires” are a major issue for firefighters with half of all fires dealt with by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service starting in the kitchen.
Many kitchen fires are the result of dirty and messy kitchens and are caused by excess fat on cooking appliances igniting, clutter stored by heat sources catching fire, or by dirt, dust and crumbs blocking ventilation and causing products to overheat.
The build-up of dust, dirt and grime is also thought to be responsible for hundreds of broken electrical appliances in Brighton and Hove kitchens.
According to the Electrical Safety Council research, hectic lifestyles are often to blame for residents not cleaning the kitchen properly with residents claiming they are too busy or relying on other members of the household.
One in five residents in the city confess to putting themselves at risk because they are just “too lazy” to clean as well as they should.
Their research also shows that a third of people in Brighton and Hove can’t remember the last time their oven or the area behind their fridge was cleaned while some even confess to leaving flammable items next to heat sources.
Preston Circus firefighter Steve Liszka said: “Carelessness can often led to fires in the kitchen.
“People with bad home care and often people not being alert, having a drink while cooking and wandering off, all combine to be a fairly regular cause of fires.
“Some commercial premises cooking on an industrial scale which might not be cleaned for weeks and then combust, that is quite regular.”
Emma Apter from the Electrical Safety Council said: “People are increasingly busy and have so much going on it’s easy for cleaning to take a backseat, but a build up of grime, dust and even food crumbs in kitchen appliances can cause fires or stop them working.
TV’s clean queen Aggie Mackenzie, who is supporting the campaign, said: “It’s vital that we all take the time to clean inside and around appliances in our kitchen. Over and above being a bad habit, unclean kitchens can actually cause dangerous grime fires.”
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