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21 September 2014 - Residents urged to ditch their chip pan after blaze

Residents urged to ditch their chip pan after blaze

‘Throw away your chip pan’ is the advice from Margate firefighters following a call out to another incident where a family narrowly escaped serious injury.

Firefighters were called to a property in Palmer Crescent at around 4.40pm yesterday (Saturday 20 September), after a couple tried to tackle a chip pan that had overheated and caught fire.

The couple had thrown water onto the hot oil which had caused the fire to spread to the electric hob. When crews arrived the residents had managed to smother the flames with a cloth, but the fire had created a large amount of smoke and fumes in the kitchen.

The couple were uninjured, however crews requested the attendance of an ambulance to check on their six-year-old daughter, who had been in the kitchen during this incident, and appeared to be suffering from slight smoke inhalation. She did not need to be taken to hospital.

Watch Manager Gray, who attended the incident said: “This family were extremely fortunate and luckily the girl did not require hospital treatment. But this incident could easily have resulted in serious injury.

“Putting water on to oil-based fire such as a chip pan is a big ‘no-no’ as the water can cause the flames to explode. While it is tempting to try to deal with the fire yourself, please avoid putting yourself and your family at risk. Our best advice is to get out of the property as quickly as possible and to call the fire service.”

“Unfortunately, we are still seeing far too many fires involving chip pans. I would strongly urge people to throw them away and invest in a thermostatically-controlled electric fryer, or oven chips.”

If you choose to deep fat fry your chips, 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.

Further free fire safety advice is available on this website, by calling (free from landlines) 0800 923 7000 or emailing home@kent.fire-uk.org

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