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When the chips are down – beware the dangers of deep fat frying!

Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental fires in the home which are attended by the emergency services in the UK each year. Nearly 20 people are killed or injured every day in accidental fires that start in their kitchen – and the most common cause of these fires is deep fat frying. 4,000 people are injured in these types of fires each year.

There is something really delicious about deep fried food – and we are not getting into a healthy eating debate here! All things in moderation, and here we provide some advice to allow you to deep fat fry in safety.

Think about what you are doing when you are deep fat frying: you are heating several pints of oil to an extremely high temperature. The oil cannot only cause terrible burns, it can go up in flames (indeed, it is an excellent fuel for a fire and very difficult to extinguish)

> Never fill a chip pan more than one third full of oil.
> Dry food before putting it in the oil. Test the temperature with a small piece of bread or potato: if it crisps quickly, the oil is hot enough
> If the oil starts to smoke, do not put the food in it. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
> Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer.
> Never leave the cooking unattended. Even if the doorbell or phone rings – fires have a habit of starting when you are not concentrating.
> If you have had a drink or two, never ever attempt to cook using a chip pan.

If you do have a chip pan fire:

> Call the Fire and Rescue Service on 999 immediately.
> Do not take any risks.
> Have a clear escape route.
> If it is safe to do so, turn off the heat.
> NEVER use water on a chip pan fire as this will cause a fireball.

These tips should allow you to cook in safety. If the worst happens, your home and contents insurance should cover you for damage. Take a few moments to look through your home and contents insurance policy so that you are confident all aspects of possible accident are covered. Westhill Insurance Services can provide you with good, sensible advice and our helpful and friendly team will be pleased to guide you through the insurance maze. Next time you are cooking up a storm in the kitchen, it will be good to know that should your carefully planned menu turn into a dish from Hell's Kitchen, you at least are covered with proper insurance.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 21st December, 2012