NOTTINGHAMSHIRE firefighters are urging people across Mansfield and Ashfield to stay safe whilst preparing meals in their own kitchens.
The warning follows the amount of fires which start in the kitchen, with chip pan fires being a particular danger.
Station Manager Craig Dooley, head of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Fire Investigation team, said: “Fire crews were called out to 46 chip pan fires last year, and all of these were preventable.
“It only takes an interruption such as a phone call or someone calling at the door while the pan is bubbling away, and before you know it the oil has ignited and has filled the kitchen with flames.
“Some people think they can put out the fire with water, but this is the worst thing you can do. The oil clings to the water and it explodes into a fireball, causing serious burns to anyone standing close by. Even if the flames are contained within the kitchen, smoke damage from a chip pan fire can ruin the whole house.”
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s advice is to swap your chip pan for a deep fat fryer, which uses a thermostat to control the temperature of the oil and prevent it from over-heating.
They are also advising locals to never fill your chip pan by more than a third with oil or fat, never be tempted to cook with a chip pan after drinking alcohol and never leave a chip pan unattended.