National Chip Week - 18 - 24 February 2013
More than half of all accidental house fires in Herefordshire and Worcestershirelast year (see note below) started in the kitchen, but while only 23 of theseaccidental fires were sparked by overheated chip pans, the resulting 9casualties show how dangerous these fires can be.
Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite. A simple switch from a conventional chip pan to the oven or a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer can help prevent the worst.
“Chips are sure to be on the menu in many households this week,” says Station Commander Alan Haley from HWFRS’s Community Safety department. “But the smallest distraction when using a hot chip pan could lead to a fire in a matter of moments. Oven chips are a safer and healthier option, but if you do choose to deep fat fry, please don’t leave the pan unattended.”
He added: “If your chip pan should catch light, never throw water over it - instead, get out, stay out and call 999.”
If you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, these all-year-round fire safety tips could help reduce the risk:
- Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
- Be careful that it doesn’t overheat - hot oil can catch fire easily.
- Use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer, which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot.
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
- Stay with your cooking at all times – turn it off if you get called away to a phone call or a knock at the door.
- Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
- Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.
- In the event of a fire, have an escape route in place.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.