House fires caused by dirty ovens

Two Rotherham firefighters have become so fed up with the number of house fires caused by dirty ovens and grill pans, they’ve turned to YouTube to tell people how to clean them properly.

Ryan Webster and Adam Dilks, both firefighters on Rotherham white watch, are using the two minute clip of them cleaning the oven at their Fitzwilliam Road fire station in a bid to drive down the number of kitchen blazes the fire service attends.

Rotherham’s firefighters went to 150 accidental house fires last year, about half of which started in the kitchen. Of those, many were caused by a build up of fat and grease on grill pans, dirty ovens or unattended cooking.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue survey found 40% of people admit to not cleaning out their oven or grill pan in the last six months.

Posters go up across Rotherham this week, again asking people to clean out their ovens and grill pans.

Watch Manager Gary Bruce, said: “You’d be amazed how many homes we go to where minimum standards of hygiene and cleanliness aren’t maintained, putting residents at a real risk of having a fire that could severely damage their property.

“That’s why Ryan and Adam have made this video, to hopefully motivate people not to put off this particular household chore any longer. Even a small amount of thick, black smoke can ruin walls and furnishings and put lives at risk, so although the video is an unusual step, the message behind it is a serious one.”

The video forms part of the fire service’s Kitchen Nightmares campaign, which aims to reduce cooking blazes across South Yorkshire.

Advice being given to residents includes:

  • Clean out ovens and grills regularly to avoid a build up of fat and grease

  • Never leave cooking unattended and switch off equipment after use

  • Ditch old fashioned chip pans, use oven chips or thermostat controlled fryers instead

  • Don’t attempt to cook if you’ve been out drinking, buy a takeaway instead

For more information on staying safe in the kitchen visit

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