Man burnt in chip pan ‘fireball’

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A 25-year-old man has tonight received burns to his hand, and had parts of his eyebrows and eyelids singed off after trying to extinguish a chip pan fire in his home in Chandlers Ford.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service are now warning the public over dangers of extinguishing chip pan fires with water and not using kitchen fire blankets.

A Crew from Eastleigh arrived at Forest Close in Chandlers ford at 7.30 pm tonight to find the chip pan well-alight on the drive of the property.

Aiden Clark, the occupier of the property who received the burns, said:

“The fire brigade and paramedics were quick to respond to my call and upon arriving immediately showed me how to extinguish the fire with a fire blanket. I knew that I shouldn’t have put water on it, but I thought by standing well back it would be enough, however,  it caused a fireball effect and burnt my hand and signed my hair and eyebrows away.”

Watch Manager Young, who attended the incident, said:

“I demonstrated to Aiden how to extinguish the fire using a household fire blanket which we had on our appliance. I then advised that he should have smothered the fire with the fire blanket and let it burn away, rather than trying to extinguish it with water.”

In the event of a chip pan fire, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s advice is:

  • Try to turn the power off to the chip pan, but only if safe to do so.
  • Leave the room, closing the door behind you, leave the house, call 999 and remain outside the house and wait for the Fire Service to arrive.
  • Never move the pan, even if the fire is out. Wait for the Fire Service to arrive, they are trained and equipped to deal with hot fat and oil fires. There is a chance that if disturbed the pan will re-ignite.
  • Never use water as this will cause a fireball.
  • Never use wet tea towels, pan lids or chopping boards.

Key facts:

  • Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires.
  • A third of all deep frying injuries occur between 10 pm and 4 am.
  • Use a thermostat-controlled electric deep fat fryer.

Use chip pans safely:

  • If you use an open chip pan only fill it to one-third full of oil or fat.
  • Always dry the chips before placing them in the oil.
  • Test the temperature with a small piece of bread or potato. If it crisps quickly, the oil is hot enough.
  • Use a thermostat-controlled deep fat fryer, which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot.
  • If the oil starts to smoke don’t put food in. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
  • Always keep a careful watch on the chip pan and never leave it unattended.
  • Watch a chip fire-related video clip to see how dangerous a chip pan fire can be, by visiting our website here

  1 comment for “Man burnt in chip pan ‘fireball’

  1. Peter Stewart
    November 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    The motto is, always have a fire blanket in your kitchen.

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