Would you gamble on your safety this World Cup?

With all eyes on South Africa for the World Cup many of us might be thinking of having a flutter, but Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is urging football fans not to gamble with their lives this month.

More than 50% of all accidental house fires attended by AF&RS start in the kitchen - many as a result of cooking being left unattended. Firefighters often see cases where people have come home after a few drinks out, put food in the oven, under the grill or on the hob and then fallen asleep. The result can be a fire breaking out in the kitchen, filling the home with toxic smoke.

In a bid to ensure World Cup revellers take particular care, crews across the Avon area will be visiting pubs, bars and other venues showing matches to spread the safety message. AF&RS has produced a series of light-hearted posters displaying genuine World Cup betting odds, compared against the odds of a drunk football fan accidentally setting fire to their kitchen.

This week firefighters from Weston-super-Mare paid a visit to The Golden Lion on the High Street in Worle which has recently reopened. Owners Rachael Furniss, Tom Hall and Chris and Drew Murtagh have given their support to the campaign by displaying the posters.

Station Manager Andy Southard from AF&RS said: “The posters are designed to make drinkers smile, but they deliver a really important and potentially life saving message. It’s really simple, if you’ve had an alcoholic drink please, don’t try and cook. The World Cup only comes around every four years, but if you’ve had a drink during the game, pick up a takeaway or make a cold sandwich. Trying to use the grill, hob or oven is a recipe for disaster.

“In many cases our crews wake up and rescue drinkers from their smoke filled homes, often after they have slept through bleeping smoke alarms or concerned neighbours banging on the door.

“Even a fit, sober, person can die from inhaling just a few breaths of toxic smoke, so if you’re drunk and you have a kitchen fire the odds of escaping definitely aren’t in your favour.”