After two fires in the past 48 hours being started by cooking being left unattended - including one where a pet hamster sadly died - Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is calling on families and carers to stay vigilant during the teatime rush.
The majority of accidental fires happen in the kitchen and involve cooking, with 129 incidents in Lincolnshire in the last year.
One of the incidents in the last 48 hours caused the death of a family pet.
Fire crews from Skegness were called to the kitchen fire on Ramsay Close just after 8pm on August 18. The fire was extinguished using a hose reel, two Breathing Apparatus, and a PPV fan.
There was fire damage to the kitchen, as well as smoke damage to the rest of the property. The hamster, on the first floor, sadly died.
The other incident was in Metheringham just after lunchtime on August 19. Fire alarms were sounding. The property was inspected and ventilated. Both incidents were caused by cooking being left unattended.
Steve Screaton, deputy community safety manager, said: “Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, often because people become distracted by the phone ringing or they are trying to multi-task.
“Whatever happens elsewhere in the house, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.
“You can take simple steps to protect yourself and your family from the devastation caused by fire. Testing smoke alarms, putting matches and candles out of reach and keeping escape routes clear all take a few moments.
“Another thing mums and dads can do to keep their family safe is talk to their kids about the importance of fire safety and make sure they know what to do if the worst happens.”
He added: “Fitting smoke alarms and involving the children in testing it regularly can also help keep them fire-aware and – most importantly – provide the vital seconds you need to escape in a fire. This could develop a life-saving habit for the future.”