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Freshers advised to 'bake beans, not yourselves'...


"BAKE beans, not yourself”, is among the messages firefighters are giving students feeling peckish while enjoying the Freshers Week festivities.

As 2016’s Freshers' Week begins on Monday, September 19, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has issued several safety messages for students living away from home for the first time.

Cooking after drinking alcohol or while tired are among the most common causes of fires in halls of residence and homes occupied by students.

The Service recommends getting a takeaway on the way home, rather than attempting to make food after a night on the tiles. Other tips include making oven chips, not using a chip pan and staying with any food you are cooking so it doesn’t boil out of the pan and start a fire.

GMFRS has produced posters, videos and social media messages to support the safety advice. One of the videos can be seen here.


One of the social media graphics GMFRS is sending out during Freshers' Week

Fire stations in areas traditionally home to a large number of students, deal with incidents of cooking fires involving young people on a regular basis.

One such case happened last year in Withington and was overseen by GMFRS Watch Manager Jagjit Dhaliwal. He said: “We had to force our way into the building where the alarms were sounding and it was very smoke-logged.

“We searched the property and found a young man asleep. He had been drinking and started cooking oven chips before falling asleep.

“It was really fortunate he had smoke alarms, as they alerted his neighbour. The crew rescued him, quickly extinguished the fire and cleared the smoke.

“I would encourage people not to risk their lives by cooking while under the influence of alcohol. A kitchen fire can start so easily when food is left unattended, and drinking can make you drowsy and impair your reactions.”

As well as not cooking while drunk, GMFRS also issues the following advice:

Top 10 cooking safety tips:

  •          Stand by your pan – don’t leave food you are cooking
  •          Keep your oven, hob and grill clean. A build-up of fat and grease can easily catch fire
  •          Don't put anything metallic, such as tin cans, inside the microwave
  •          Check the toaster is clean and away from curtains and kitchen rolls
  •          When deep frying, always dry the food before you put it in the oil
  •          Never fill a pan more than one-third full of oil. If the oil starts to smoke, it's too hot - turn off the heat
  •          Swap your chip pan for an electric deep fat fryer - thermostatically controlled electrical deep fat fryers are much safer to use
  •          Never put water on a hot fat fire
  •          Have an escape plan if a fire does occur
  •          Finally, remember a working smoke alarm will give you those precious seconds to escape – your landlord is responsible for ensuring your property has one

For further information and safety advice, visit:

If you would like to share the posters, videos or social media graphics to support the messages, please contact us at:


Last update: 16/09/2016 15:28:17
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