Chip pans shouldn’t be on the menu after fires at five Mid Ulster homes

Chip pans have caused blazes at five Mid Ulster homes in the last year
Chip pans have caused blazes at five Mid Ulster homes in the last year
  • Don’t start cooking when you have been drinking
  • Never leave a chip pan unattended
  • If it catches fire NEVER throw water on it
  • Call 999 and get everyone out of the house

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service is asking families to take chip pans off the menu after they led to fires at five Mid Ulster homes last year.

The appeal, which comes during National Chip Week [February 15-21], has added advice about the dangers of using traditional chip pans.

One of the most common causes of domestic blazes, NIFRS attended a total of 81 accidental house fires caused by chip pans in 2015, which is a decrease from 92 from the previous year - but still too many according to the Fire Service.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer Alan Walmsley said: “National Chip Week - designed to celebrate chips as one of our culinary favourites, provides an ideal opportunity for us to remind people to take extra care when cooking with pans, especially ones containing hot oil.

“Chip pans are well known for being a fire risk, but simply changing the way you cook can prevent fire.

“Our advice is that you stop using a traditional chip pan and invest in an electric temperature controlled deep fat fryer or cook your chips in the oven.

“If it isn’t possible to give up using a chip pan be sure to carefully follow our fire safety advice to reduce fire hazards and cook safely.

“Remember - never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil; never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on and never put the food in the pan if the oil begins to give off smoke, just turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool, otherwise it could catch fire.

“Do not cook if under the influence of alcohol and remember to keep your grill pan clean.

“Chips will be on the menu in a lot of homes next week, but remember that even the smallest distraction, like answering the phone when using chip pans to cook, can lead to a fire in a matter of moments so the best advice is to ensure you maintain your concentration and don’t leave pans on the heat unattended.”