Fire Service backs Chip Week campaign

10th February, 2010

National Chip Week has the backing of Shropshire firefighters who are urging people to get a portion of our favourite food from the chippy or takeaway instead of cooking at home after a night out.

Fire crews are aiming their fire safety message at revellers who often feel hungry after a night out but set fire to their kitchen after putting the chip pan on – and then fall asleep in an armchair.

“We want to target our message to the age groups who go out drinking and then come home and cook when they feel hungry. Don’t cook after drinking alcohol – that is our message as too often it leads to a house fire when people fall asleep with the chip pan on,” said Kate Hancocks, a Risk Reduction Officer with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters will hammer home their message at two Shropshire chippies next week at the Big Blue Fish Bar in Leegomery, Telford on February 15 and at Fry-Days in Wem on February 16. The fire service’s Outreach Vehicle used in public education campaigns will be at both venues.

Fire crews are called out to a number of incidents involving house fires caused by chip pans and cookers left on when the cook has fallen asleep after drinking alcohol.

“Chip pans kill and cause serious burns and injuries. The number of house fires in Shropshire is falling with successful fire prevention education from our firefighters but it is in the kitchen where most fires start.

“It is a problem which we are trying to tackle and by supporting National Chip Week from Februrary 15 to 21st we do hope that people will listen and get into the habit of cooking safely or consider getting a takeaway instead of cooking at home after a night out,” said Kate.

Fire safety officers also urge people to ditch the old fashioned chip pan responsible for causing serious fire damage to homes and replace it with electric thermostatically controlled chip pans in a bid to reduce kitchen fires.

The UK is a “chip haven” with one out of every four potatoes turned into chips – and 20 per cent of takeaway meals on a Friday night coming from a fish and chip shop.

Firefighters are getting over the fire safety message during regular visits to households to carry out free home safety checks. Householders who want their home checked for fire safety should call 01743 260298 for a visit from local fire crews.

Fire prevention officers say:

  • Don’t be tempted to have a fry up after drinking alcohol
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them weekly
  • Don’t ever take any risks by tackling a fire Get out, Stay out and dial 999