News release text
Firefighters are reminding those hoping to enjoy National Chip Week (17 – 23 February) to take care in the kitchen and consider oven baking their meal rather then using hot oil.
Crews attended 153 cooking related fires in homes across the county last year, over a quarter of which involved chips*. Leaving a pan on the hob unattended for even just a few minutes can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite.
Last year a family in Chatham using a deep fat fryer had a lucky escape after the cooking oil became too hot and caught alight while not being watched. Thankfully the family, along with a child who was upstairs asleep at the time, managed to get out safety but the fire caused extensive damage to the kitchen, bathroom, lounge and utility room, with the rest of the house also being damaged by smoke.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety Manager, Stuart Skilton, said: “Chips remain a family favourite but crews continue to be called out to fires where pans of hot oil have overheated. Oven baking is a far safer and healthier option 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.”
Follow these all-year-round fire safety tips to 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
For further advice on fire safety visit the website at www.kent.fire-uk.org or contact the KFRS community safety team on 0800 923 7000.
For more information on National Chip Week: http://www.lovechips.co.uk/
* Kent Fire and Rescue Service attended 606 accidental fires in homes across the county in 2013, 153 of these were cooking related. 40 of these involved chips.