Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is using this year’s National Chip Week (18 – 24 February) - designed to celebrate chips as one of our culinary favourites, to warn people of the dangers of using traditional chip and grill pans.
NIFRS is calling on everyone to cook safely to help protect themselves and their family from the dangers of fire.
Chip and grill pans are one of the most common causes of fire in the home. In 2012 NIFRS attended 121 accidental dwelling fires caused by chip and grill pans, therefore NIFRS is urging people to put safety first when it comes to cooking.
Kevin O’Neill, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue said: “National Chip Week provides an ideal opportunity for us to remind people to take extra care when cooking with pans, especially ones containing hot oil. Chip and grill 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 in your home be sure to carefully follow our simple fire safety advice to reduce fire hazards and cook safely. Remember - never fill a pan more than one third full of fat of 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.
“It is very easy to get distracted while cooking - the doorbell or phone can ring, children can distract us, or we can leave the room to do other chores while food is cooking. Leaving a chip or grill pan unattended, even for a short period of time, can have disastrous consequences.”
If your chip pan catches fires don’t take any risks and follow NIFRS guidelines:
Do not move it.
Turn off the heat if safe to do so, but never lean over the pan.
Never throw water on the fire.
Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, tell everyone else in the home to get out and don’t go back inside for any reason.