Enjoy National Chip Week Safely

There’s no denying we are a nation of chip lovers – but our reluctance to ditch the pan can put us at risk of fire.

In the last three years West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) dealt with 345 chip pan fires – one of which resulted in a fatality.

Furthermore, 84 people were left with injuries requiring hospitalisation and a further 69 people were injured but did not need to go to hospital.

National Chip Week, between February 16 and 22, encourages people to enjoy chips in all shapes and sizes, from homemade to takeaway, frozen from the supermarket to those enjoyed in restaurants.

It’s also an opportunity to promote safe cooking, in particular focussing on chip pans and cooking with oil.

WYFRS Area Manager for Fire Safety, Ian Bitcon, said: “Chips are a great national institution and a tasty treat everyone enjoys.

“However, chip pans can be very dangerous as obviously the oil can reach incredibly high temperatures and if that ignites you can have a very serious fire on your hands.

“Despite the move towards oven chips, we still attend over 100 chip pan fires each year, which cause lots of nasty injuries, some of which can be life-changing.

“We would advise people to consider alternatives to deep drying such as oven chips.”

Top tips:

  • Take care when cooking with oil – it sets alight easily.
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot.  Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer for chips.  They can’t overheat.
  • Do not leave cooking unattended and avoid children being alone in the kitchen when cooking on the hob.
  • Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one third full.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.

 

What to do if a pan catches fire:

  • Don’t take any risks.  Turn the heat off if it is safe to do so.
  • NEVER throw water over it.
  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself – Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.

 

For more information on the light-hearted week and its celebrations of the chip, please visit the website: http://chips.lovepotatoes.co.uk/.

WYFRS figures for chip pan fires for last three years, including resulting deaths and injuries.

Incidents

2012

2013

2014

Bradford

41

35

29

Calderdale

5

10

5

Kirklees

21

16

20

Leeds

52

35

31

Wakefield

18

12

15

Total

137

108

100

Deaths

2012

2013

2014

Bradford

1

0

0

Calderdale

0

0

0

Kirklees

0

0

0

Leeds

0

0

0

Wakefield

0

0

0

Total

1

0

0

Injuries – hospital

2012

2013

2014

Bradford

6

6

8

Calderdale

1

5

1

Kirklees

6

2

6

Leeds

16

7

4

Wakefield

8

5

3

Total

37

25

22

Injuries – not hospital

2012

2013

2014

Bradford

9

4

6

Calderdale

1

1

0

Kirklees

2

5

8

Leeds

11

5

5

Wakefield

1

5

6

Total

24

20

25