[C]umbrian chip lovers are being warned of the dangers of chip pan fires after Cumbria Fire and Rescue Services was called out to two chip pan fires in as many days at opposite ends of the county.
Like these two fires in Flookburgh and Longtown, over half of all accidental fires in the home started in the kitchen. With nearly three billion meals containing chips being eaten each year, there’s perhaps little surprise that chip pans cause around 6% of fires in the home in the UK.
Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service is urging local chipophiles to take care when preparing their favourite food.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager John McVay said “We all know proper chips taste great, but chip pans can be very hazardous and leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite in a matter of moments.”
“Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite meal, alternatively consider investing in a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer or pop out to your local chippie. But if you do choose to deep fat fry please don’t leave the pan unattended. If your pan does catch light, do not throw water over it – get out, stay out and call 999.”
“Make sure you cook safely and know what to do if your chip pan catches fire.”
If you do decide to deep fat fry your chips these all-year-round simple safety tips could help reduce the risk of fire:
- Use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer (it’ll help make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot).
- Check that it doesn’t overheat – hot oil can catch fire easily.
- Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
- Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
- Have an escape route in place in the event of fire.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
- Get a smoke alarm and test it monthly
For further advice on fire safety contact Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service on 01768 812612.