The number of alcohol related fires fell in 2021 – 105 of these types of fires compared to 132 the year before – but December was a busy month for crews, with 13 alcohol-related fires compared to 9 in November and just 6 in October. May was the second highest month, with 12 fires where alcohol had in some way contributed to the cause.
The most common causes of fires involving alcohol includes cigarettes not being put out properly and candles or cooking being left unattended after people have fallen asleep.
Paul Jennings, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety at London Fire Brigade, said, “Many Londoners may have chosen to give alcohol a miss for Dry January, but the one thing that is not drying up is the number of alcohol-related fires we are seeing. These figures represent only the fires where we know that alcohol has contributed, the real number could be much higher. Alcohol can massively impair your judgement and increase your likelihood of having an accident. Take extra care when cooking if you’ve been drinking – or better still, avoid the kitchen altogether – and if you smoke when you’ve had a drink make sure you follow our advice on disposing of cigarettes safely.”
Fire safety tips
London Fire Brigade’s fire safety tips for staying safe when drinking includes:
- If you have been drinking alcohol, avoid cooking. Eat before you go out, grab a takeaway or eat something that doesn’t require cooking instead.
- Take extra care when cooking or smoking if you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
- Don’t leave cooking unattended on the hob or grill, if you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the heat.
- Never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on armchairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.
- It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly.
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