Cooking fires and particularly Chip pan fires are the UK’s biggest cause of fire related injuries in the home with a conservative estimate, based on statistics recorded by the Fire Services, of 12000 chip pan fires each year resulting in close to 5000 injuries and around 50 deaths not to mention the huge financial costs in fire damage and repairs.
Top Ten Tips to avoid chip pan fires
- Only use a proper deep Chip pan with a removable wire basket
- Don’t fill the pan more than a third full of oil/fat
- Drain and Dry the chips before putting them in the pan.
- Don’t overfill the pan with chips
- If you are feeding the five thousand fry in batches and keep warm in a low oven. (Not you the chips)
- To test the temperature of the oil drop in a small cube of bread; if it crisps up in 5 seconds or so and floats, the oil is hot enough.
- If the pan is giving off smoke it is too hot. Turn the heat off and let it cool down so it passes the bread test. Cooking oils will self ignite between 280-360⁰C which will spell big trouble.
- If you leave the pan unattended turn the heat off but best to stay with it unless you like your chips soggy.
- Don’t come in from the pub half soaked and have a fry up. You may easily nod off, get distracted by a repeat of Top Gear or forget in your stupor. Most serious chip pan fires happen after 9p.m.
- Or forget all the above and buy a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer