FAMILIES are being warned to stay safe when cooking with oil this Pancake Day.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service say that most accidental fires caused by oil or frying can be devastating and a high proportion of them result in injuries.

Group manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Mark Thomas said: “Making pancakes can be lots of fun for the whole family and they certainly can be delicious.

“However, over half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen so please take care, especially when cooking with hot oil.

“Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on and don’t move a pan if it is on fire.

"When you have finished cooking, make sure that all the appliances are turned off and the cooking area is clear.

“If a pan does catch light, turn the heat off if it is safe to do so. Never throw water on it or take any risks.

"Don’t tackle the fire yourself but rather get out, stay out and call 999.”

Top tips to make sure your smoke alarms work properly:

• Test your smoke alarms every month.

• Change the battery every year (unless it's a 10-year alarm).

• Clean it out properly at least twice every year, by vacuuming the inside.

For further advice on fire safety contact Fire Service Direct on 0800 731 5958.