Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires in the UK each year. Nearly 20 people are killed or injured every day in accidental fires that start in their kitchen, the most common of these caused by deep fat frying.
If you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, make sure you do it safely. Why not get them from a takeaway? If you make them at home, use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer as this will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot when you are deep-fat frying or cooking with oil as hot oil can catch fire easily.
Think about what you’re doing when you’re deep frying. You’re heating several pints of oil to extremely high temperatures. The oil can not only cause terrible burns, but it can go up in flames. In fact, it’s an ideal fuel for a fire, and difficult to put out.
If you still intend to cook chips in a traditional chip pan, follow these fire safety tips:
- Don’t cook after drinking alcohol – if you really want some chips get a takeaway
- Never fill a pan more than one-third full of fat or oil
- Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on
- Never put the food in the pan if the oil begins to give off smoke
- Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash
- Before putting food in the pan, dry the food and test the temperature of the oil by putting in a small piece of bread. If the bread crisps quickly the oil is ready
- Turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool, otherwise it could catch fire
If your chip pan catches fire:
- Turn off the heat under the pan (if it’s safe to do so) and allow it to cool completely
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire
- Don’t move the pan it will be very hot
- Don’t take any risks – get out, stay out and call 999