Fire safety in your home - cooking safety

Chip Pan Fire

Each year, more accidental fires in the home are caused by cooking than anything else. Many people are spending more time at home due to the current pandemic and are cooking much more. As well as this, a lot of parents have the added distractions of home-schooling. 

Distraction whilst cooking is a main cause of fire call outs right across the country. 

Cooking-related fires tend to result in the most non-fatal casualties and the second most fatalities, so the importance of promoting cooking fire safety messages cannot be overestimated.

Keeping Safe in the Kitchen

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service's top tips for staying safe in the kitchen are: 

  • Don't leave cooking unattended.
  • If a pan catches fire, don't take any risks - Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you're wearing loose clothing - this can easily catch fire.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking.  
  • Keep matches and saucepan handles out of children's reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics - keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order.  A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Don't cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn't overheat. 
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire. 
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place. 
  • Don't take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly.

Advice on Safe Use

Chip pans are safe as long as you follow some simple guidelines.

Before putting food in the pan dry the food and test the temperature of the oil by putting in a small piece of bread. If the bread crisps quickly the oil is ready.

  • Never fill a pan more than one-third full of fat or oil.

  • Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on.

  • Never put the food in the pan if the oil begins to give off smoke.

  • Turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool, otherwise it could catch fire.

If your pan DOES catch fire

  • Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL US OUT

Whatever you do, don't throw water over the fire and don't move the pan, the effects can be devastating.

If you are in any doubt about whether to try to put out a chip pan fire yourself then don't.

Leave the room, close the door and call the fire and rescue service.

The best way to avoid chip pan fires is not to have a chip pan! Think about buying a deep fat fryer with a thermostatic control or try Oven Chips.