Submit your email address below to receive email updates from Cumbria24.
Chip lovers across Cumbria are being urged to be aware of the dangers of fire when they indulge in cooking their culinary favourite this week.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is using National Chip Week (February 20 to February 26) to issue a timely reminder of the potential hazards posed by cooking chips – both in the oven and in deep fat fryers.
In Cumbria in 2010-11 there were 151 kitchen fires, with 61 caused by a cooker/ oven and three by deep fat fryers.
So to minimise the risks of these types of blazes in the home, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is calling on people to take a few simple precautions in the kitchen, especially when chips are on the menu.
Chip pans are particularly dangerous, especially if left unattended. Switching to oven chips or a temperature-controlled deep-fat fryer can help prevent a fire although cooking chips in the oven can also be a potential danger if left unattended for any length of time.
Anyone choosing to deep-fat fry should never fill the pan more than one-third full. And if the worst does happen, don’t use water to put out a chip pan fire – get out, stay out and call 999.
Cumbria’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Ian Cartwright said: "Chips are one of Britain’s favourite foods and the fact we even have a National Chip Week shows how popular they are.
"Of course we want people to continue enjoying eating chips, all we’re saying is that we’d like everyone to be aware of the fire dangers that come with cooking them, especially in a deep fat fryer.
"The smallest distraction when cooking can potentially lead to a fire in moments so the best advice is to ensure you maintain your concentration and don’t leave pans on the heat unattended.”
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.
For more information on National Chip Week visit http://www.lovechips.co.uk/