Safety advice issued to residents after 26 kitchen fires in four years in Hailsham

Hailsham Community Fire Station
Hailsham Community Fire Station

Twenty-six accidental kitchen fires in the Hailsham area in four years has sparked firefighters into action - where they are visiting homes and delivering safety advice to residents in the town.

Crews from Hailsham will be visiting 400 homes in the town and offering advice.

Station manager Mark Webb said so far their messages have been well received by the public.

He said: “We are visiting around 400 homes in those areas that have experienced this type of accidental fire and, so far, the response has been extremely positive. Crews are promoting our Home Safety Visit service as well as offering kitchen safety advice which could potentially save lives.”

East Sussex Fire and Rescue said night time is a particularly risky time when people are tired or distracted.

A spokesman said out of the 26 fires recorded since 2011, 14 started between 5.45pm and 12.15am and 12 between 8.38am and 4.42pm. He said a majority of these incidents took place within single occupancy premises (20 incidents), five were in houses of multi-occupancy and one was in sheltered housing.

Twelve were due to cooking, five were due to combustible materials being too close to the heat source,six were due to faulty appliances, two were due to an accumulation of flammable material, and one was due to an electrical fault.

The spokesman said: “The cooker was the source of ignition for half of these incidents and potentially seven of these incidents could have been avoided, as they were a result of the occupant falling asleep.”