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Love chips? Fry safely this National Chip Week

10th February 2015

February 16-22 is National Chip Week.  With 1.6 million tons of potatoes made into chips every year in the UK[1] it is clear that we love our chips! However, frying chips can be a major fire hazard. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service – as part of the Fire Kills campaign – is urging our nation of chip lovers to take care when indulging in one of our favourite foods this National Chip Week. Make sure you enjoy National Chip Week, cook safely and know what to do if your chip pan catches fire.

Last year, over half of all accidental fires in the home started in the kitchen. With nearly three billion meals containing chips being eaten each year,[2] there’s perhaps little surprise that chip pans cause around 6% of fires in the home.

While we love our fried chips, chip pans can be very hazardous and leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite. What’s the solution? A simple tip is to switch from the pan to the oven.  Alternatively, consider investing in a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer to help prevent the worst.

“From the chip shop to the kitchen table, chips will certainly be on the menu in February,” says Group Manager Peter Hudson from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. “But the smallest distraction when using a chip pan could lead to a fire in a matter of moments. Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite meal, but if you do choose to deep fat fry please don’t leave the pan unattended. If your pan does catch light, don’t throw water over it – get out, stay out and call 999.”

If you do decide to deep fat fry your chips – whether they’re ‘chip shop style’ chips, French fries, crinkle cut chips or curly fries – these all-year-round simple safety tips could help reduce the risk of fire:

  • Use a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer (it’ll help make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot).
  • Check that it doesn’t overheat - hot oil can catch fire easily.
  • Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Have an escape route in place in the event of fire.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Get a smoke alarm and test it monthly

For further advice on fire safety visit www.facebook.com/firekills

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