Chip pan fire warning

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Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging chip lovers to take care when they indulge in one of the nation’s favourite foods this National Chip Week, which runs from Monday.

With nearly 300 accidental house fires in Derbyshire 2010-11 started in the kitchen, 34 accidental fires were sparked by overheated chip pan and resulted in 23 casualties.

Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of 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.

“From the chip shop to the kitchen table, chips will quite rightly be on the menu this week,” said spokesman Steve Helps.

“But the smallest distraction when using a hot chip pan could lead to a fire in a matter of moments. Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite, 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.”

If people do choose to deep fat fry chips, these 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.

If the oil starts to smoke it is too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.

Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.

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 www.derbys-fire.gov.uk, www.facebook.com/firekills or contact your local fire station.

For more information on National Chip Week: http://www.lovechips.co.uk/