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Northern Ireland Fire Service issue warning over chip pans as they caused more than 80 blazes in past year

Published 15/02/2016

Chip pans are one of the most common causes of fire in the home, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service have said.
Chip pans are one of the most common causes of fire in the home, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service have said.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended more than 80 accidental fires in homes caused by chip pans in 2015.

Chip pans are one of the most common causes of fire in the home.

In 2015 NIFRS attended 81 accidental house fires caused by chip pans - a decrease on the 2014 figure of 92 accidental dwelling fires caused by chip pans.

The NIFRS is using this year's National Chip Week (15-21 February) to warn people of the dangers of using traditional chip pans.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer Alan Walmsley said:  “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 in your home be sure to carefully follow our all year round 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.”

Chip Pan Fire Safety Guidelines

Never leave any cooking unattended

Only fill you pan a third full

Do not start cooking if you have had alcohol or are feeling tired

Always have an adult attending a chip pan, not a minor

Keep chip pans clean. A build-up of fat and oils can easily catch fire.

If your chip pan catches fire don’t take any risks and follow NIFRS guidelines:

Do not move it.

Do not tackle the fire yourself.

Never throw water on a chip pan or grill pan fire.

Turn off the heat if safe to do so but never lean over the pan to reach the controls.

Leave the kitchen and close the door behind you.

Get everyone out of the house.

Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service.

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