National Chip Week Fire Safety Tips

ChipsChips are one of the nation’s favourite foods. The National Chip Week (16th – 22nd February) celebrates this passion in a fun way encouraging everyone to eat chips, vote for their favourite condiment and the best chip shop and to share ideas and recipes.

However, with over half of last year’s domestic fires being linked to cooking there is a serious side to this national celebration. Over 3,000 people were injured last year in kitchen fires, many of which involved deep fat fryers. With this in mind we would like to remind everyone planning to cook chips of some fire safety tips.

– If possible use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer, the thermostat regulates the temperature of the fat and prevents overheating.

– Look out for signs of the oil overheating, if it starts to smoke, the oil is too hot. Turn off the heat or remove from the source of heat and leave to cool.

– Oil can ignite very quickly if splashed onto hot surfaces. Care should therefore be taken not to overfill chip pans (it is recommended that the pan is no more than a third full of oil)

– Never cook with oil after consuming alcohol and always attend to your cooking, never leave the room with a pan still cooking. A chip pan can ignite very quickly. ALWAYS supervise cooking with oil.

– Should your chip pan ignite ensure that you and any occupants of the house are safe. Call 999 and leave the house, closing doors and windows as you go.

– If you are able to, turn off the heat, never try to move a burning chip pan. Burning oil may spill and spread the fire. If you are confident in doing so, use a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher, such as a water mist fire extinguisher or a wet chemical extinguisher

– Think of safer ways to cook chips, oven chips and air fryers are not only safer but healthier ways to enjoy your chips this week.

Lastly, before embarking on cooking chips and joining in the general celebration of the humble chips, check that your smoke alarms and heat alarms are working. A smoke alarm will alert occupants of a fire, giving them precious seconds to evacuate.

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

National Chip Week 15-21 February 2010

Safelincs would like to help National Chip Week be a safe and enjoyable week for all chip lovers.

Chip pans can easily cause a fire with devastating effects. The oil gets very hot and can over heat causing it to combust and start a fire. If pans are left unattended the risk of this happening rises. Many people panic and throw water over the pan to put the fire out. The water and oil react with each other in such a way that burning oil can spill over the side of the pan and ignite other sources outside of the chip pan causing the fire to spread rapidly.

If you are enjoying chips, which celebrate 150 years this year, by cooking them yourself at home make sure that you are fully prepared and follow our simple safety tips to keep you, your family and your home safe during National Chip Week.

How to deal with a chip pan fire

If your chip pan were to ignite place a fire blanket over it or if you do not have a fire blanket place a damp cloth over the pan.

  • Turn off the heat and leave the chip pan to cool. DO NOT TAKE IT OUTSIDE! This could cause the fire to flare up again when it comes into contact with the air
  • Ensure you have a fire blanket in the kitchen and/or a suitable fire extinguisher
  • Ensure you have a heat alarm installed in the kitchen to alert you to a fire

Safety tips:

  • Never leave your chip pan unattended whilst cooking or let yourself be distracted.
  • Always ensure that you know how to deal with a chip pan fire.
  • Check your smoke/heat alarm is working on a regular basis.
  • Make sure that you do not put wet chips into a pan full of very hot oil.

Safelincs can provide you with all your fire safety needs. Follow the links below if you are interested in any of the following products.

Specialist fire extinguishers which contain Chemicals which create a smoothering action over the flames and burning oil