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Fire Safety in your student kitchen

Whether you're a seasoned cook or you've never made a meal in your life, you're likely to spend quite a lot of time in your kitchen now you're at university.
Remember, chip pans are the most common cause of household fires.
If you have a chip pan in your student kitchen, spend a couple of minutes looking over these simple safety guidelines to make sure you are using it safely!
The two main causes of chip pan fires:
1.The oil or fat in the pan overheats and catches fire.
2.The oil or fat spills out onto the cooker. This occurs either because the pan has been filled too high or because wet chips are put into the hot oil causing it to bubble up and overflow.
How to safely use a chip pan...
  • Never fill the pan more than a third full of fat or oil.
  • Never leave the pan unattended with the heat on - not even for a few seconds.
  • Dry the chips before putting them in the pan (wet chips can cause the hot oil to bubble up, overflow the pan and cause a fire.)
  • Before putting chips in the pan, test the temperature of the oil by putting in a small piece of bread. If the bread crisps up quickly, the oil is ready.
  • Never put the chips in the pan if the oil begins to smoke. Turn the heat off and leave the oil to cool, otherwise it could catch fire.
If your chip pan does catch fire, don't panic! Follow these simple steps:
  1. Do not move the pan. 
  2. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. DO NOT lean over the pan to reach the cooker controls. 
  3. Drop a fire blanket over the pan to smother the flames. Never throw water onto the fire. 
  4. Leave the pan to cool down for at least 30 minutes. 
  5. If you cannot control the fire yourself, leave the room, close the door and telephone the fire brigade by calling 999. 
If you're going to be using a chip pan in your kitchen, why not print off this blog post and put it up on your noticeboard as a reminder?