Chip lovers urged to take care during National Chip Week

With more than half of all fires attended by Avon Fire & Rescue Service starting in the kitchen, firefighters are urging chip lovers to enjoy their favourite snack safely during National Chip Week.

Chip pan fireMany of the kitchen fires dealt with by the service start when cooking is left unattended and often involve hot oils and fats.

National Chip Week runs from Monday 21 to Sunday 27 February with many people choosing to cook their fries at home using a chip pan.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Station Manager, Stuart Matthews, said: “We want people to enjoy their food safely and cooking with hot oil and fat can be very dangerous if precautions aren’t taken.

“The oil in a chip pan can reach up to 400 degrees and could catch fire if you don’t follow safety advice. People should also always take care when using oils and fats in a grill pan as it could easily catch light.”

Tips on how to stay safe

  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil.
  • Never leave a pan unattended when the heat is switched on.
  • Never put food into a pan if the oil begins to smoke. Turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool, otherwise it could catch fire.
  • Never wear loose clothing near cooking materials, as it could catch fire causing severe burns or get caught on a pan and pull it over.
  • Keep tea towels and oven gloves away from cooking appliances.
  • Cooking and alcohol are a recipe for disaster so if you fancy a late night snack after a few drinks treat yourself to a takeaway rather than cooking your own.
  • If possible use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer, as these are much safer than a chip pan.

If a pan does catch fire:

  • Do not try to move it as this could cause severe burns.
  • Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so, but never lean over the pan to reach the cooker controls.
  • Never throw water on to a burning pan of fat or oil as this will only make it worse and could create a fire ball and cause severe burns.
  • Get out, stay out and call 999. If possible, close the kitchen door on the way out as this will prevent the fire spreading.