Make fire safety a priority in the kitchen this winter

Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and CFA responded to around 900 kitchen fires across the state last year, with many the result of people leaving stovetops unattended.

Thursday, 1 June 2023 at 1:00 am

Fire Rescue Commissioner Gavin Freeman said unattended cooking was one of the most common causes of preventable house fires.

“We frequently encounter kitchen fires and we understand there’s lots to do around the home, but it’s crucial to be aware of your kitchen environment and reduce the risk of fire by staying near the stove,” Commissioner Freeman said. 

“If a fire does start in the kitchen, turn off the stove if it’s safe to do so. Use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket if you are confident in their use, evacuate everyone from the home, close the kitchen door and call Triple Zero.

CFA Acting Chief Officer Garry Cook said there are many ways kitchen fires can be avoided to help keep families safe this winter.

“We know that 6pm is the peak time triple zero dispatch CFA brigades to homes due to unattended cooking,” Acting CO Cook said.

“Make sure your kitchen appliances are in good working order, and ensure your stove top, griller, oven, range hood and cooking area are free from built up grease, dust and oil.

“While most fatal fires occur in sleeping areas, it is important to note that most residential fires start in the kitchen and over the last 10 years 15 percent of fatalities and serious injuries have still occurred from kitchen fires.”

A fire in your kitchen can cause extensive damage and high-level injuries. Victorians are reminded to ensure they have working smoke alarms powered by a 10 year-long life battery in all sleeping and living areas of their home and if affordable, interconnected smoke alarms, so when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound throughout the house.

Other tips to cook safely this winter and avoid starting a blaze include:

  • Always supervise children in the kitchen and keep them away from the stovetop and the oven.
  • Keep pot handles turned in to avoid bumping, spilling, or having an open heat source on the stovetop.
  • Keep stovetops, grillers, ovens, range hoods and cooking areas free from built up grease, dust and oil.
  • Keep combustible items such as tea towels and paper towels at least one metre away from cooking and heat sources.
  • Make sure kitchen appliances are clean and in good working order.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or fire blanket stored within easy reach but away from the cooking area. 

For more home fire safety tips visit