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Take care when using a chip pan

19 November 2021

Health and Wellbeing | Your health and safety |

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Cooking is one of the major causes of fires at home, or accidental dwelling fires, with the most common being caused by deep fat frying. Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires attended by the fire and rescue service in the UK each year. Every day, nearly 20 people are killed or injured in accidental fires that start in their kitchen.

Tips and precautions:

If you choose to use a chip pan to deep fat fry your chips, make sure you do it safely. Here are some tips and precautions for you to take:

  • Never fill a chip pan more than a third full
  • Never leave the pan unattended when cooking
  • Dry food before putting it into the oil as water can make the oil explode
  • Test the temperature with a small piece of bread, if it crisps quickly the oil is hot enough
  • If the oil begins to smoke, do not place any food in. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down
  • If you’re under the influence of alcohol, don’t be tempted to cook with a chip pan
  • Consider using a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer as the thermostat stops it from ever overheating
  • Where possible, opt to use the oven over a deep fat fryer to cook your chips.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has some helpful tips for cooking safely and ways to make your kitchen safer, here.

What to do if you have a chip pan fire:

If you happen to have a chip pan fire in your home, here is what you should do:

  • Call 999 and request the fire service immediately
  • Leave the pan where it is and only turn off the heat if it is safe to do so
  • Don’t take any risks, never use water on a chip pan fire as this will cause a fireball
  • Have a clear escape route, leave your home, and get to a safe place.

You can find more safety information on chip pans on the UK Fire Service website.

For full advice on fire safety and how you can reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home, visit our dedicated fire safety page, here.