The dangers of using chip pans have been highlighted yet again after two men suffered burns after a fire broke out in a flat in Sheerness last night (Wednesday).
Kent Fire and Rescue Service advise ” If you are unlucky enough to have a chip pan fire, never put water on to hot oil, it heats up, expands, turns to steam and rises in a big steam cloud. Each particle of steam is coated in burning oil and if you are near it you could be badly burned.”
Three fire engines were called to the first floor flat in Sheerness High Street just before 11pm. The first arrived within 6 minutes of the 999 call. A passer-by raised the alarm after seeing the fire flash over, setting fire to the kitchen curtains.
Sheppey Crew Manager, Jim Ashby said: “The men, aged about 25 and 30 had only recently returned from work. They put the pan on the hob and left it unattended for a short while. When they returned to the kitchen and discovered the fire, one of them poured water on it. It flashed over, causing burns to his arm and forehead. The second man then attempted to move the pan from the kitchen, putting it in the shower tray. He also suffered burns to his forehead.
“As we’ve seen from this incident, it only takes a few minutes for oil to overheat, causing the pan to ignite, with disastrous results. If you are unlucky enough to have a chip pan fire, never put water on to hot oil, it heats up, expands, turns to steam and rises in a big steam cloud. Each particle of steam is coated in burning oil and if you are near it you could be badly burned.
“My advice would be turn off the heat if it’s safe to do so – but never lean over the pan to reach the controls and most importantly, stand by your pan, don’t leave it unattended.”
No firefighting action was needed but crews administered first aid until the arrival of a paramedic and made the scene safe. They also used a thermal imaging camera to check for fire spread. The kitchen and bathroom were smoke damaged.
You can get helpful tips on the safe use of chip pans or call Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s home safety team for fire safety advice in the home. Please call their home safety team for free advice – the call is free from landlines 0800 923 7000
Kent Fire and Rescue Service 27 August 2015