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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Take care with your chips, say fire chiefs


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging chip lovers to take care when they indulge in one of the nation's favourite foods the current National Chip Week.
Last year, 153 of all accidental dwelling fires in North Wales started in the kitchen and 31 of these were as a result of overheated chip pans.

Dave Evans, Head of Community Safety, said: "We are finding that thankfully the number of chip pan fires is going down and people are listening to our warnings - but residents must remain vigilant as this incident goes to show.

"It is all too easy to turn your back and see a full blown fire develop in a matter of minutes if you do not cook safely. Our message is still to get rid of your chip pan and get a deep fat fryer instead, which is far safer - and always ensure you have working smoke alarm at home as it could mean the difference between life and death.

"Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite. A simple switch from the pan to the oven or a temperature controlled deep-fat fryer can help prevent the worst.

"The smallest distraction when using a hot chip pan could lead to a fire in a matter of moments. Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite, 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 choose to deep fat fry your chips, these all-year-round fire safety tips could help reduce the risk:

• Don't overfill a chip pan with oil - never fill it more than one-third full.
• Be careful that it doesn't overheat - hot oil can catch fire easily.
• Use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer, which will make sure the fat doesn't get too hot
• Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
• Don't cook after drinking alcohol.
• In the event of a fire, have an escape route in place.
• Don't take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
• Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offer free home fire safety checks, where a member of the Service will visit your home, give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and fit new alarms - all free of charge. This service is available to all residents in North Wales.

To register for a free home fire safety check, please call the 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234, e-mail cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.ukor visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk.

For more information on National Chip Week: http://www.lovechips.co.uk/

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