Fire film could save drinkers' bacon

Published:  08 December, 2009

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has launched a short film to highlight the dangers of drinking and cooking.

The film, entitled ‘Stand by Your Pan” was thought up as a response to figures which highlight a particular risk to those who get peckish after a few drinks.

The light-hearted approach of this Tammy Wynette inspired viral video is intended to engage those at risk so they take on board the serious safety messages that could save their lives. Statistics show that one in every three fire deaths is drink related, and the majority of accidental domestic fires begin in the kitchen.

The short video tells the story of a man’s return home after a night out with friends, and how his hunger pangs lead him to dice with death, before being saved by ‘fire angels’.

KFRS’s Head of Community Safety Stuart Skilton: “Unfortunately, ‘fire angels’ don’t actually exist - if you’re asleep and a fire breaks out, you’re in serious trouble. Just a couple of breaths of fire smoke can be enough to knock you completely unconscious.

“Leaving cooking unattended is often a recipe for disaster, and if you’ve been drinking you’re even more vulnerable. Despite the old proverb ‘a watched pot never boils’, keeping a close eye on your cooking really will save your life. Whether you’ve had a few drinks or not, our advice to cooks is quite simply - ‘Stand by Your Pan’.”

Watch Manager Andy Bigginton, KFRS’s Education Team Leader, plays the lead role the film and said: “As a firefighter and education officer I am used to seeing first hand the devastation caused by cooking fires and talking to the people about the risks. It was fun to be involved in the filming, as it is a light hearted approach to a very serious subject. I hope that as well as making people smile it will make them think twice next time they think about cooking after drinking alcohol.”

A common misconception about house fires...
‘If there’s a fire in my home, the smoke will wake me up’

... but in fact:
- It can take just two or three breaths for you to fall unconscious from smoke inhalation.
- The smell of smoke doesn’t wake up you up. The poisonous gases produced by a fire numb the senses and put you into a deeper sleep
- A child can die from smoke inhalation in under a minute
- A household fire doubles in size every thirty seconds

“Combine these elements with the effects of alcohol and the chances of escaping from the smoke and flames diminish significantly,” explained Stuart. “Drink affects people mentally and physically, increasing their likelihood of having a fire and slowing their reaction times when one breaks out. Survival is dependent on early detection – which means working smoke alarms.”

To view the film, please click here.

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