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Stay Fire Safe as Cost of Living Rises

26 October 2022

#ValleysMag | Money Advice | Your health and safety |

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As we see rises in the cost of living across Wales, please take fire safety precautions in your home to stay safe this winter. 

To ensure you do not put yourself and your family at additional risk as the cost-of-living increases, please buy, charge and run electrical products and white goods safely and ensure you keep warm safely. 

By taking a few simple steps, you can reduce the risk of fire in the home, be alert simple measures save lives. 

  • Check and test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly.  
  • Ensure portable heaters and electric blankets are kept in good working order, not subject to any recalls and used correctly.  
  • Buy electrical produces from reputable retailers and sign up to the national product safety alerts and recalls, and always register appliances. 
  • Take care when cooking. Particularly when using a chip fryer. 

There is often a misconception, which has recently been exacerbated by social media, that it is cheaper to use electricity during off peak night time hours.  This may lead people to try and save money by running white goods such as tumble dryers and washing machines whilst they are asleep, which means if a fire should start it might go undetected for longer allowing occupants less time to respond quickly and safely.  For most households this is simply not the case unless like the minority of homes you are on an off peak or time of use tariff.                                 

Smoking in the home still results in more deaths than any other type of fire in the UK.  

Smokers should not be tempted to buy Illegal tobacco products or as the cost-of-living increases. Fake and counterfeit cigarettes products including electronic cigarettes can present a greater fire risk as they continue to burn when left unattended. 

Reference: – NFCC Publication 

Take care when using a chip pan  

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. 

This piece is from our tenant magazines that you can read online. If you’re living in RCT, you can read our valleys magazine or if you’re living in Cardiff, you can read our y bae magazine.

For more support with the cost of living crisis, visit our dedicated Cost of Living page.