An alarming 95% of house fires in west Fife were caused by unattended pans in the kitchen, new statistics have revealed.
Dunfermline fire station manager Mark Bryce has issued a warning after it emerged 24 of the 37 accidental house fires in the area between April and September involved food on a cooker.
Thankfully, only two of the incidents required fire service intervention with the rest extinguished prior to the arrival of firefighters.
Three people were hurt and needed a precautionary check-up.
“At all of these incidents, the householders informed us that they had been distracted whilst they were cooking and had forgotten that the cooker was on,” said Mr Bryce.
“Many kitchen fires happen when people are not paying attention or they leave things unattended but there are several things you can do to prevent fires in the kitchen.”
He added: “Don’t leave pans unattended and take them off the heat if you have to leave the room.
“Fire starts when your attention stops. When you have finished cooking, make sure the cooker or oven is turned off.”
Mr Bryce said the fire service wanted to prevent fires from happening in the first place.
“The fact is more house fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else,” he said.
“Fire can cause damage, not just to your property but more seriously can put family at risk.”
People have been urged to check if older family members, neighbours and friends have working smoke alarms.
Dunfermline crews routinely carry out free home fire safety visits, with more than 700 done between April and September alone.
“It only takes a couple of minutes to check that someone’s smoke alarms are working properly and it really could save their life,” Mr Bryce said.
To arrange a visit from local firefighters, call 0800 0731 999 or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk.
A range of tips on how to keep safe is available on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website at www.firescotland.gov.uk/winter.