FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to fry with care following more than 200 chip pan fires last year.
Fire crews in Hampshire were called to 586 kitchen fires in 2011 – and more than a third were due to oil overheating.
The warning to take extra care comes as National Chip Week begins today.
Leaving a chip pan unattended can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite.
Ian Wadmore, from the service’s community safety team, said: ‘Chips will quite rightly be on the menu this week.
‘But the smallest distraction when using a hot chip pan could lead to a fire in a matter of moments.
‘Oven chips are a safer and healthier way to enjoy your favourite, but if you do choose to deep-fat fry never leave the pan unattended.
‘If your pan does catch light, don’t throw water over it – get out, stay out and call 999.’
Safety advice also includes never overfilling a pan with oil. It should never be more than one-third full.
Hampshire firefighters have produced two films to show how dangerous a chip pan fire can be. Visit youtube.com/watch?v=dPr-tOZHmOA