Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are urging chip lovers to take care when they indulge in one of the nation's favourite foods, during National Chip Week.
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," says Fire Investigation Officer, Mike Burroughs. "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 you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, these all-year-round 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
• 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 regularly
In closing, Mike Burroughs said: "Repeatedly attending fires and seeing people make the same mistakes, places a responsibility on us to communicate the risk of death and injury. We hope that by encouraging people to take due care and attention with chip pans, we will start to see a reduction in these preventable accidents."
For further advice please visit chip pan/deep fat fryers safety
National Chip Week runs from 18-24 February 2013.