Chip lovers urged to cook with care
SUFFOLK Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to cook with care when they indulge in one of the nation’s favourite foods this National Chip Week 20-26 Feb
137 fires involving chip pans and deep fat frying oil have been recorded in the past two years in Suffolk, resulting in 19 casualties.
Chip pan fires cause more injuries than any other domestic fires in the UK. Around 8,200 chip pan fires result in 34 deaths and nearly 3,000 injuries in the UK each year.
Most chip pan fires are caused by leaving pans unattended while cooking, or by putting too much oil in the chip pan. Many casualties result from not knowing how to deal with a chip pan fire once it starts.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is issuing the following advice:
- Never fill a pan more than a third full of oil
- Never leave a pan unattended - take it off the heat if you have to leave the kitchen
- Never put wet chips into hot oil
- Test the temperature of the oil with a small amount of food (if the oil gives off smoke it is too hot)
- Always keep clothing and tea towels away from the cooker
- Always keep electrical leads away from the cooker and from water
- Never ever use a chip pan after drinking alcohol
In the event of a chip pan fire:
- Don't take any risks. Turn off the heat if it's safe to do so. Never throw water over it
- Don’t tackle the fire yourself
- Get out, stay out and call 999
When water is put onto hot oil it heats up, expands, turns to steam and rises in a steam cloud - each particle of steam is coated in burning oil and anyone near it will be badly burned. A simple switch from the pan to the oven or a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer can help prevent a lethal fire.
Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said;
“National Chip Week is all about celebrating the country’s love of chips, and we wanted to take this opportunity to remind people to take extra care while enjoying their cooking.
“Many electrical fires start in the kitchen, so it’s important to be extra careful with cooking equipment. A fire in the home can be devastating, but many of these fires are preventable. It is vital to ensure that you fit, and regularly test, a smoke alarm. It is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home.
“By following some simple steps, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service provide free Safer Home Visits and, where necessary, fit free smoke alarms. For more information on fire safety visit: http://beta.suffolk.gov.uk/emergency-and-safety/fire-and-rescue-service