Firefighters have issued a warning to homes across Ayrshire to help prevent potentially deadly kitchen fires this festive period.

The latest statistics from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) show that firefighters attended more than 1,500 kitchen fires in the last year – around four every day.

The figures also showed that the majority of all house fires attended by crews started in the kitchen.

Now the stark figures are being highlighted to drive home an urgent appeal from Scotland’s fire and rescue service – don’t let fire ruin the festive fun.

Area Commander Stephen Nesbitt is part of the Prevention and Protection function at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

He said: “We know many people will be looking forward to a traditional Christmas dinner – and it is all too easy to become distracted in the kitchen at this time of year.

“It takes seconds for a fire to take hold and the statistics show that the kitchen is the room of origin of most fires we attend.

“We’re asking everyone – enjoy the festive season safely. Don’t leave cooking unattended, don’t cook while drunk and try to keep an eye on cooking food at all times.”

Operational statistics show the SFRS attended 1542 accidental dwelling fires caused by cookers between 2022-2023, a figure slightly lower than the previous year.

In an effort to reduce this figure further, firefighters are offering some key cooking safety tips.

This includes making sure that homes have working smoke alarms and a heat alarm fitted in the kitchen area.

Towels, oven gloves and packing should be kept away from open flames and heat sources.

Fat and food waste building up on hobs and in cookers can also be a serious fire hazard and should be cleaned whenever possible.

Scotland’s national fire and rescue service has created a dedicated safety tips page for anyone who will be cooking over the festive period.

Area Commander Nesbit added: “We want everyone to have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

“Please help keep you and your family safe this festive period and while we will be ready to respond to emergencies, by following our advice you won’t need to call 999.”

For more festive safety tips, visit the SFRS website at