UK National Chip Week: Fire Safety in the Kitchen
Whether you’re a lover of the ‘chip shop chip’ or a fan of the French fry, us Brits just can’t seem to resist the potato treat. So much so, in fact, that more than 1.6 million tonnes of potatoes are made into chips every year in the UK – making it one of the country’s most consumed foods. Chips are so popular they even have their own week, and this National Chip Week falls from the 18th to the 24th February!
National Chip Week is, simply put, a promotional week to celebrate the chip in all its forms and variations. Organised by the Potato Council – a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board – the annual event encourages you to incorporate chips into meals during the week – whether you buy from the local chippy or make them yourself at home. There are a number of events being undertaken throughout the country over the week, and you can also vote for your favourite chip shop as part of the Choice Chip Awards.
However, apart from being a good excuse to treat yourself to a delicious chip or two, National Chip Week also provides an ideal platform to discuss fire safety in the kitchen, particularly in relation to chip pans. And, this year, London Fire Brigade is using National Chip Week to raise awareness of safe frying procedures and also promote updated Government guidelines on what to do in the event of a chip pan fire.
According to Fire and Rescue Service statistics, chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires in the UK. In 2006 alone there were 4900 injuries in fires started by kitchen appliances, and nearly 20 people are killed each year by fires that start in their kitchen. The most common cause of these fires is deep fat frying, highlighting the importance of kitchen fire safety and detailing the need for a better knowledge and understanding of safe cooking methods.
As a result, the specialists down at Elite Fire have used their expertise within the fire safety industry to compile a guide on fire safety in the kitchen – making sure you can enjoy your chips carefully, and without the threat of fire, this National Chip Week!
Precautions to take:
· Never fill a chip pan more than one third full of oil
· Use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer if possible
· Never leave your cooking unattended – not even for a few seconds
· Stay alert – a lack of concentration is when a fire can start
· If you have consumed alcohol, never be tempted to cook
· Make sure food is dry before dropping it into the pan – water can make the oil explode
· If the oil starts to smoke, it is too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool
· Keep your kitchen surfaces clean as a build-up of grease can easily ignite
If you do have a chip pan fire:
· Don’t move the pan
· Never throw water over it or use a water-based fire extinguisher
· Turn off the heat if it’s safe to do so – but never lean over the pan to reach the controls
· Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you and tell everyone else in the house to get out and stay out
· Call the Fire and Rescue Service on 999 immediately
So as you prepare and tuck into your homemade chips this National Chip Week, take a moment to consider Elite Fire’s kitchen fire safety tips and make sure you follow these simple rules to reduce fire risks and cook safely!
For more information on any aspects of fire safety, get in touch with the professionals at Elite Fire. They specialise in providing a wide range of fire safety equipment, such as fire alarms and fire extinguishers, and their comprehensive service includes the supply, installation and maintenance of their high quality products. Simply give them a call today!