Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires attended by the fire and rescue service 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. Better still, choose oven chips or use a thermostatic fryer.
Precautions to take
- Never fill a chip pan more than a third full of oil
- Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer
- Never leave your cooking unattended. Even if the phone or doorbell rings. Remember – fires start when your attention stops
- If you’ve consumed alcohol, don’t be tempted to cook with a chip pan.
If you do have a chip pan fire:
- Call the fire and rescue service on 999 immediately
- Don’t take risks
- Have a clear escape route
- Never move the pan
- Turn off the heat (if its safe to do so)
- Never use water on chip pan fires, as this will cause a fireball.
The most common type of fire is caused by deep fat frying. There are 1000s of people injured in these kinds of fires each year.
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.
A few tips:
- Never fill the pan more than one third full
- Dry food before putting it in (water can make the oil explode)
- Test the temperature with a small piece of bread or potato. If it crisps quickly, the oil is hot enough
- If the oil starts to smoke don’t put the food in. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool
- Don’t ever leave the pan unattended
- If there are flames, never throw water over the pan. It will explode.
The safest way to deep fry is to use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer. Its thermostat stops it from ever overheating. Its also worthy to note that some fire and rescue services will supply some venerable home owners with Deep Fat Fryers as a replacement for their Chip Pans if they experience such a fire.