Don't let your cooking cancel Christmas

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Cooking fires are the leading cause of preventable house fires in South Australia, resulting in over 700 emergency phone calls in three years.

This means it’s important to follow safe cooking practices to avoid firefighters visiting you during the festive season.

Fire services respond to more than 200 blazes each year, with distractions and unattended cooking being a major cause. Australians love getting together with friends and family and having a Christmas meal. Unfortunately, with distractions such as guests, long discussions, phone-calls, children, alcohol, present-opening and naps, there is the potential for cooking to be left unattended and a fire to start.

Nobody wants to be a Grinch at Christmas, but with the festive combination of drinking, socialising and cooking it’s important that the person in charge of lunch/dinner remains vigilant to avoid a cooking disaster.

Before Christmas Day, give ovens and barbecues a good clean to ensure fat doesn’t catch alight. When celebrating with relatives and friends set a timer to ensure you don’t forget about the cooking. And if using the stove, especially if it’s an open flame, do not leave it unattended.

You also need to think about what you’ll do if a Total Fire Ban is declared in the district you live in, and what you can and can’t do during a Total Fire Ban.

Solid fuel barbecues using wood or charcoal (such as Webers and pizza ovens) cannot be used on Total Fire Ban Days without a Schedule 10 permit obtained from your local council.

Gas barbecues are fine providing they are within 15 metres of your home and are clear of flammable vegetation. 

Total Fire Bans are announced before 5pm the previous day via the CFS website, Alert SA app and social media. However, waiting until Christmas Eve to see if a Total Fire Ban is issued for your area will be too late to get a permit.

8 February 2023