National Chip Week 20-26 February 2012

National chip week is a fun week celebrating the British love of chips. There are many sites on web with hints and tips of how to cook the best chips but amongst all the fun there is a serious side to Nation Chip Week.

According to a report, Fire statistics: Great Britain 2010 – 2011, more than half of accidental fires in the home were due to cooking. As many people will be supporting National Chip Week by cooking chips there is cause for concern regarding household safety.

Old fashioned chip pans should be discarded as fat in them can become quickly overheated and burst into flames. Many people do not know how to cope with a chip pan fire and make the situation worse by trying to put the fire out with water. NEVER pour water on to a chip pan fire, this causes the fat to spit out of the pan and spread the fire.

If you have a fire blanket: Open the blanket completely and be sure to shield your face and body from the fire. Protect your hands by ensuring, as you hold the blanket, that they are always behind the blanket. Cover the burning container completely, do not throw the blanket. Turn off any gas or fuel supply and leave the blanket in place until the oil or fat has cooled completely.

The only other extinguishers suitable for deep fat fryers are specialist ABF extinguishers, wet chemical extinguishers and as a new option dry water mist extinguishers. All of these can be safely used on fat fires.

Here are some tips to prevent a fire in your kitchen:- Never leave cooking unattended, if you must leave the kitchen turn the cooker off until your return.- Ensure that you have a working smoke or heat alarm fitted in your house. Heat alarms are specially suited for kitchens as they will not be triggered by burning the toast.- think of alternative ways of cooking food, buy oven chips or cook chips in a thermostatic fryer.- Ensure that your children know what to do in the event of a fire, practice your fire drill with them.- Check your smoke alarms are working on a regular basis, sign up to our reminder service to help you