FAMILIES are encouraged to cook chips safely when they tuck into the fluffy favourite as part of National Chip Week.
National Chip Week kicks off on Monday, (February 18), and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is encouraging householders to celebrate safely by using lower risk methods of cooking chips, such as in the oven, and highlighting the dangers of using chip pans and deep fat fryers.
Chip pan fires are one of the most common causes of fire related injuries in the home.
In Cambridgeshire, between April 2008 and December 2012, chip pans and deep fat fryers were the cause of 84 fires – nearly 6 per cent of all home fires.
Although these statistics have steadily dropped over recent years, there is still a danger risk when using these kitchen appliances.
Wendy Coleman, Community Risk Manager at CFRS, said: “Although we do not want to deter people from enjoying National Chip Week, we strongly advise residents to take care when cooking with hot oil as it can easily set on fire and spread to surrounding objects and areas in the kitchen.
“To stay safe, people may want to consider choosing a safer and healthier option, such as oven chips, potato wedges or even popping down to the local chip shop.
“However, for those planning on using chip pans or deep fat fryers, there are some simple safety guidelines which will help them to stay safe.”
• Never fill the pan more than one-third full with fat or oil.
• Never leave the pan unattended with the heat on - even for a few seconds.
• Dry the chips before putting them in the pan.
• If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
Fires can quickly take hold in the kitchen and spread to the rest of the house, putting lives at risk.
If your chip pan does catch fire – do not panic:
• Do not move the pan.
• Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so but never lean over the pan to reach the cooker controls.
• NEVER throw water onto the fire.
• Close the door to the room, ensure all members of the family leave the home, telephone 999 and do not go back inside. bove all, ensure you have a working smoke alarm fitted on each floor or your home. This will give an early warning to a fire, allowing extra time for occupants in the home to escape.