AMOROUS couples are being warned not to leave pans or candles unattended during romantic meals on Valentine’s Day.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging lovers not to let things get too hot on Wednesday next week.

February is often a busy month for the fire service, as Shrove Tuesday can also see kitchen mishaps as families get together to make pancakes.

Nick Evans, head of prevention for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “People will probably be in the kitchen making mountains of pancakes for their families on Shrove Tuesday or special meals will be prepared for loved ones on Valentine's Day, but just a moment’s distraction could turn your kitchen fun into a tragedy.

“A few simple precautions can greatly reduce the risks and a working smoke alarm can give you and your loved ones vital time to escape to safety, if a fire does break out. If you don’t have one or yours isn’t working then please go out today and get one.”

Statistically most fires in the home start in the kitchen. In 2017 firefighters were called to 165 fires where the ignition source was cooking related.

The fire service has issued the following safety advice:

* Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.

* Make sure saucepan handles don't stick out - so they don't get knocked off the stove.

* Take care if you're wearing loose clothing - they can easily catch fire.

* Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.

* Double check the cooker is off when you've finished cooking.

* Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.

* Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.

* If the oil in a pan starts to smoke - it's too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.

Mr Evans added: “Cooking with children can be great fun but alongside the melting, mixing and making, why not take the chance to pass on your fire safety knowhow? Test your smoke alarms as part of the activity. And remember, never leave a child alone with a hot hob, and help keep them safe by moving matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.”

What to do if a pan catches fire:

* Don't take any risks. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over it.

* Don't tackle the fire yourself - Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.