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Chip pan warning after two fires near Wrexham


Firefighters have today issued a serious warning about the dangers of leaving cooking unattended following two chip pan fires in the space of just two hours in separate properties near Wrexham.


Three fire appliances from Wrexham were mobilised to a property on the High Street in Gresford at 14.24hrs after a smoke detector raised the alarm to a fire caused by a chip pan in the kitchen. Firefighters used two sets of breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to tackle the incident which left a man in his 30s with superficial burns to his arms and legs after he attempted to remove the burning chip pan from the property. He has since been taken to hospital for treatment.


Earlier at a property at an address on Coed Efa, New Broughton, near Wrexham at 12.23hrs two fire crews from Wrexham were mobilised after a man in his 40s tackled a chip pan fire at his home. Thankfully he did not sustain any injuries.


Dave Roberts, Community Safety Manager, said: "In both instances, residents had tried to take these fires themselves which is never advisable.


"The fires were confined to the kitchen area but could easily have spread to cause further damage and injury.


"Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite - even the smallest distraction could lead to a fire in a matter of moments.


"Oven chips are safer as well as being healthier, but if you do choose to deep fat fry please don't leave the pan unattended. If your chip pan does ignite, don't throw water over it. Get out, stay out and call 999. Never tackle a fire yourself.


"Better still - throw away your old style chip pan altogether and use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer."


"It only takes a few minutes for a small fire to develop into one that is serious and life threatening. If you're asleep and a fire breaks out, you're in serious trouble - just a couple of breaths of smoke can be enough to knock you completely unconscious."


In 2007, Sean Bowers, 24, from Penyffordd and Andrew Roberts, 39, from Ruthin, both tragically lost their lives following separate fires in their homes - both caused by chip pans.


If you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, follow our top tips to reduce your risk of fire;


• 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

• Got the post pub munchies? 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 regularly



North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks, where a member of the Service will visit your home, give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and fit new alarms - all free of charge. This service is available to all residents inNorth Wales.


To register for a free home fire safety check, please call the bilingual 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit

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