Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging Staffordshire residents to ‘ban the pan’ to mark National Chip Week (20 – 26 February).
"We attend numerous fires caused by people putting their chip pans on and then falling asleep or getting distracted by a phone call or someone at the door."
Station Manager, Brian Griffiths
Statistics reveal that out of the 229 cooking fires which took place across the county in 2011. Over one quarter of those fires were caused by chip pans and 15 people were injured in such incidents.
Firefighters from across the county will be out and about during National Chip Week, holding chip pan demonstrations and giving out cooking safety advice.
Station Manager, Brian Griffiths wants people to exercise caution at the stove: "Research tells us more than half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents. Chip pans can cause serious fires because they can very quickly overheat and then ignite.
"We attend numerous fires caused by people putting their chip pans on and then falling asleep or getting distracted by a phone call or someone at the door.
"We would urge people to either use deep fat fryers instead, which are much safer because they are thermostatically controlled which means they can’t overheat, or consider a more healthier option that does not require the use of cooking fat or oils."
People who do insist on using a chip pan are advised to follow these Staffordshire Fire and Rescue fire safety tips - not just during National Chip Week but all year round:
• Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
• Don’t use your chip pan after drinking alcohol.
• Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and dial 999.
• Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
• In the event of a fire, have an escape route in place.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is launching its annual cooking campaign to coincide with National Chip Week. The campaign is supported by hard-hitting posters bearing the message ‘Look When You Cook.’