Take care if you are planning to indulge in one of the nation’s favourite foods during National Chip Week this week.
More than half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, and last year 25 fires in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes were sparked by overheated chip pans, resulting in four people being taken to hospital.
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 the pan to the oven or a temperature-controlled deep-fat fryer can help prevent the worst.
Chris Bailey, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Chips will be on the menu in a lot of homes this week, but remember that even the smallest distraction when using a hot chip pan can lead to a fire in a matter of moments.
“Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite, but if you do choose to deep-fat fry, please don’t leave the pan unattended. If your pan does catch light, don’t throw water over it – get out, stay out and call 999.”
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.
Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
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.
Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.