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Chip pan warning following fire in Cefn Mawr


A fire officer has issued a warning about the dangers of using chip pans and leaving cooking unattended following a fire in Cefn Mawr near Wrexham.


Crews from Chirk and Johnstown were called to the property at Cefn Mawr, near Wrexham at 18.43hrs yesterday.


The fire caused substantial fire and smoke damage to the kitchen area.


Smoke alarms were fitted in the property and activated.


Jami Jennings, Community Safety Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, said:


"Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results– this fire was caused after a chip pan was accidentally left on the heat and the oil overheated and ignited. Even the smallest distraction could lead to a fire in a matter of moments.


"Oven chips or air fryers are safer than chip pans as well as being healthier, but if you do choose to deep fat fry please don't leave the pan unattended – and double check you have switched off the heat after cooking. 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. This is why having working smoke alarm fitted in your home is vitally important.


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
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