Following an incident at a house in Mendip Way, Downley, High Wycombe on Tuesday 11th November 2014, firefighters are reminding people not to tackle fires involving pans of cooking oil.
Just before 7.00pm firefighters from High Wycombe fire station were called to a property in Mendip Way. Watch Manager Graham Danbury said: ‘The occupant suffered smoke inhalation and had to be taken to hospital after trying to tackle the fire herself by throwing a towel over it. Our advice is to get out of the house, shutting doors behind you, call 999 and don’t go back inside.‘
A hose reel was used by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus to put out the fire. A Positive Pressure Ventilation fan was used to clear away the smoke. A cat was also rescued from the kitchen.
Last year fires that started in the kitchen accounted for more than half of all accidental fires in the home (125 of the 247 accidental house fires in Buckinghamshire and 119 of the 185 accidental house fires in Milton Keynes). Kitchen fires resulted in nineteen people suffering injuries, eight in Buckinghamshire and 11 in Milton Keynes.
Watch Manager Graham Danbury said: ‘Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite. A simple switch from the pan to the oven or a temperature-controlled deep fat fryer can help prevent the worst. If you do choose to use a pan, please don’t leave it unattended. If your pan does catch light, don’t throw water over it – get out, stay out and call 999.‘
Graham went on to offer the following safety tips:
- Don’t overfill a chip pan with oil – never fill it more than one-third full.
- Be careful that it doesn’t overheat – hot oil can catch fire easily.
- Use a thermostat-controlled deep fat fryer which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot.
- Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
- Don’t cook if you are tired, or after drinking alcohol.
- In the event of a fire have an escape route in place.
- Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
- Get a smoke alarm and test it regularly. If you don’t have smoke alarms, ring Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service on [email protected] or send an email to [email protected].