FIRE crews have been called to a dozen kitchen fires all caused by hobs being accidentally switched on.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to take its advice after 12 separate hob fire incidents this month.

The concerns come after the fire service has seen a rise in these types of fires, saying it's surprising how many are caused by children or pets turning the hob on.

The service advises people to keep their hobs clear after cooking and switch the hob off at the wall when not in use.

Firefighters have been called to 31 cooking-related fires so far this year and the service hopes sharing cooking safety advice will reduce “what is often a preventable fire”.

One fire this month in Blackmores in Laindon happened after a person fell asleep while cooking.

The fire service was called at 12.25am on Wednesday, February 21. The person had to be rescued and suffered from some inhalation as a result.

Chelmsford Weekly News: Burnt - air fryer completely destroyed after fireBurnt - air fryer completely destroyed after fire (Image: ECFRS)

Another fire on Wednesday, February 7 occurred at 9.51am after an air fryer was left on a hob in Birkbeck Road in Hutton.

The hob had been turned on accidentally and set fire to the air fryer on top.

Another hob fire was on Thursday, February 1, which was believed to have been caused by a hob being accidentally switched on, setting fire to items on top.

Andrea MacAlister, head of prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “We’ve seen a rise in these types of fires and you’d be surprised how many times it’s been children or pets turning the hob on.

“Our top tips are to make sure you clear everything off the hob once you’ve finished cooking and then double-check it’s switched off at the wall before leaving the kitchen.”

Andrea added: “Many of the cooking-related fires we go to can easily be prevented, distraction is a big cause.

“Keeping an eye on your pans while they’re on the hob is a quick win. You’ll be there to spot if the pan is overheating and can reduce the heat.”