Firefighters urge residents to 'stand by their pan' this National Chip WeekPosted
Firefighters in North Wales are urging chip lovers to be extra vigilant when they indulge in one of the nation's favourite foods this National Chip Week (February 15-21).
Cooking is a major cause of house fires in the region- last year, firefighters attended 123 fires in the kitchen.
Leaving a chip pan unattended for even a short time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite. A simple switch from the pan to the oven or a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer can help prevent the worst.
Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Some people assume that cooking chips in a pan of hot oil is a
thing of the past, but we know from the incidents our crews attend that it
still happens and, when not given full attention, it is potentially highly dangerous.
"We'd recommend oven chips or a takeaway as a safer option, but if people do choose to fry then please ensure you stand by your pan - don't be tempted to leave it unattended. If you are unlucky enough to have a chip pan fire, please don't try and tackle it yourself, especially not with water - it could put your life in
Here are North Wales Fire and Rescue Service's tips on frying safely:
Most kitchen fires occur when people leave things unattended. Don't let yourself be distracted while cooking, if you are called away from the cooker take pans off the heat.
Never fill a chip pan (or other deep-fat fryer) more than one-third full of oil
Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep-fat fryer - this will ensure that the fat does not get too hot
Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home and don't forget that weekly test!
If a pan catches fire:
Don't move it - it is likely to be extremely hot
Turn off the heat if it's safe to do so - but never lean over a pan to reach the controls
Don't use water on a chip pan fire - the water reacts with the oil creating a potentially lethal fireball
Don't use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil - the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire
If you have put the fire out, leave the pan to cool completely
Stuart added: "Don't forget - smoke alarms save lives.
For a free home safety check call our 24 hour freephone number on 0800 169
Staff from the Service will be attending the following locations
during National Chip Week to promote cooking safely:
Tuesday, 16th February - Asda Bangor
Wednesday, 17th February - Morrisons Holyhead
Thursday, 18th February - Marks and Spencers Broughton, Tesco Caernarfon, Spar Tywyn, Coop Tywyn & Iceland Bangor
Friday, 19th February- Tesco Abergele, Morton Garden Centre, Chirk & Tesco Porthmadog