West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is reminding people to be vigilant when using chip pans after firefighters attended three blazes overnight involving cooking.
As a result of one chip pan fire, a woman, a toddler and a baby were rescued by firefighters from a house in Middleton, Leeds and had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
In another chip pan fire in Morley an elderly man, in his mid-80s, suffered smoke inhalation and was given oxygen by fire crews before being checked over by the ambulance service.
Elsewhere in Seacroft a man in his mid-50s suffered burns to his arm after a chip pan fire broke out and also needed to be taken to hospital.
Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said: “It is a great concern to us that we have seen three chip pan fires in such a short space of time. 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.
“We advise that people use other methods of cooking – such as oven chips which may also be healthier!
“However, if you still decide to use a chip pan, never fill it more than a third full and use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer. As ever, never leave cooking unattended, even for a moment.”
If you do decide to fry your chips:
- Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
- Use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer (it’ll help make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot).
- Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn’t splash.
- Check that it doesn’t overheat – hot oil can catch fire easily.
- If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
In the event of a fire:
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
- Have an escape route in place.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
General cooking safety:
- Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked off the stove.
- Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
- Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
- Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
- Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat to avoid risk.
- Don’t be distracted by a knock at the door or phone call.
- Don’t place items, for example wooden chopping boards, on a hob even when it’s off.
- Get a smoke alarm and test it monthly.
Summary of incidents overnight:
Incident one: 20.25 hrs on January 27, Bruntcliffe Lane, Morley, Leeds.
House fire, chip pan involved, out on arrival. Man in mid 80s suffered smoke inhalation, oxygen given by fire crews. The man was checked over by ambulance service but did not attend hospital. Smoke detectors were fitted and working. Appliances from Batley and Morley attended.
Incident two: Midnight, Sissons Lane, Middleton, Leeds.
House fire, kitchen involved. A toddler and a baby were rescued by fire crews from the first floor window using a ladder. A female occupant in her early 20s passed the children to firefighters through the window as it was too smoky for her to take them downstairs. Firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, gained access to the premises through a ground floor window and led the woman to safety. All the occupants were transported to hospital by ambulance for a precautionary check-up. One smoke detector was fitted upstairs and did actuate which alerted the female occupant. A further smoke detector had been disconnected. Smoke and heat damage was caused to the kitchen. Two appliances from Hunslet and one from Rothwell attended. This was an accidental fire caused by a chip pan overheating and being left unattended.
Incident three: 04:28 hrs on January 28, Kingsdale Court, Seacroft.
Flat fire – chip pan fire out on arrival. One male casualty aged in his mid-50s received burns to his arm and was treated by the Ambulance service and taken to hospital. Smoke detectors were fitted and working. Appliances attended from Stanks and Gipton attended.