Love chips, hate burns, fry safely

Avon Fire & Rescue Service is using National Chip Week as chance to spread the cooking safety message.

More than half of all house fires in the Avon area start in the kitchen, with 25% of those blazes caused by cooking with hot fat or oil. As this week is National Chip Week (February 15 to 21) fire crews have been out in the community encouraging people to ‘love chips, hate burns and fry safely’.

Across the Avon area firefighters will be offering the public vouchers for a free bag of oven chips if they sign up for a Home Fire Safety Visit. During the visits staff from AF&RS provide information and advice on all aspects of fire safety, including cooking safely.

Station Manager Neil Liddington, AF&RS Deputy Head of Community Safety, said: “Fires that break out in the kitchen remain the most common cause of house fires we attend. The effects can be devastating, financially costly and lead to serious injury or even death which is why we’re committed to providing advice and education throughout the community.

“Most kitchen fires start when people go out of the room or lose concentration even for a short time. Leaving any cooking unattended on a hob, particularly pans that contain hot fat or oil, presents a real risk of a fire breaking out which can spread rapidly, filling your home with thick black smoke.

“If you are cooking chips, by far the safest option is to use oven chips or a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer. Chip pans really are an accident waiting to happen.”

Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s top cooking safety tips:

  • Never fill a pan more than one-third full of oil or fat;
  • Never leave any cooking on the hob or under the grill unattended;
  • Never put food in a pan if the oil begins to smoke. Turn off the oil and leave it to cool; and
  • If you’re having a alcoholic drink, save it until afterwards - drinking alcohol and cooking is a recipe for disaster.

If a pan does catch fire:

  • Don’t move it;
  • Turn off the heat, if it is safe to do so;
  • Never throw water or a wet towel over it as this could make it worse or cause you to injure yourself; and
  • Leave, close the kitchen door and call 999.