Fire Safety: Cooking fires

Fire Safety: Cooking fires


Did you know that oil pans are the most common cause of house fires in the UK? There’s around 2,000 chip pan fires every year, causing over 4,600 injuries, and 50 deaths per year.

Following two recent cooking fires at our homes, we wanted to highlight the dangers and share the best ways to avoid this type of fire from happening.

A pan of oil left unattended whilst heating can get so hot that the oil inside will catch fire (between 400-500℃). If water is used to try to put the fire out, an explosion of steam, fire and hot oil will happen.

Safety Tips
• The safest thing you can do is switch to oven chips or a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer
• If a pan of oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn the heat off and leave it to cool
• Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil
• Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on
• Make sure that food is dried thoroughly before putting it into hot oil, so it doesn’t spit
• Never deep fry if you’ve been drinking alcohol, taking drugs or are feeling tired.

In the event of a chip pan fire, the fire service advise you to follow these steps:
• Turn off the heat under the pan (if it's safe to do so) and allow it to cool completely
• Leave the room, closing the door behind you and call 999
• Don't move the pan, even if the fire is out. Wait for the fire service, they are trained to deal with hot fat and oil fires. There is a chance that the pan could ignite if disturbed
• Never put it in water or put water over it. Don’t use wet tea towels, pan lids or chopping boards to try to contain the fire
• Don't use a fire extinguisher on a pan of oil - the force of the extinguisher can spread the fire.

To report any repairs needed as a result of an oil pan fire, please contact your local housing team via our contact form, our Service Hub on 020 7922 5300 or your nearest housing officer.

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