Staying safe during National Chip Week

Posted on 21/02/2014 by

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Chip Week

This week sees the 21st annual ‘National Chip Week’ and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) would like everyone to enjoy their chips.

Across Scotland, 600 people were injured in around 3,000 cooking related house fires in 2012-13, while over the past four years, 60 per cent of all accidental house fires have involved cooking.

Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, Director of Prevention and Protection, said:

“More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room in the house and with three billion meals per year containing chips within the UK, it is clear that they still remain a national favourite. However cooking chips can involve a significant fire risk.

“It is so easy to get distracted while cooking. The doorbell can go, the phonemay ring, children can distract us, or we leave the room to do other chores while food is cooking. A significant number of cooking related fires start when people are under the influence of alcohol, start to cook something and then fall asleep on the sofa.

“You can join Scotland’s Fight Against Fire and significantly reduce that risk by taking a few simple steps. Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Consider fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen. Heat alarms are specially designed to quickly detect cooking fires while avoiding false alarms caused by cooking. In the event of fire, a smoke or heat alarm will alert you and give you time to react safely and sensibly. It could save your life.”

During ‘National Chip Week’ enjoy your chips safely. In addition to smoke and heat alarms, the following simple steps will help protect everyone in your home:

Use a thermostat controlled deep fat fryer

The best way to avoid having a chip pan fire is to use a thermostat controlled, electric deep fat fryer instead. The safety cut out (thermostat) controls the temperature of the fat or oil. You can even win one on Chip Week’s website (http://www.chips.lovepotatoes.co.uk/chip-n-pin). Oven chips are another safer alternative to using chip pans.

Visit a chip shop at the end of a night out

Chips are a traditional treat at the end of a night out. If you do want chips, buy them on the way home rather than attempting to cook when you get home.

Don’t cook whilst under the influence of alcohol

Cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol is a recipe for disaster. If you’re tired, have been drinking, or taking drugs, don’t cook. You will be less alert to the signs of fire, and more likely to fall asleep.

Book a FREE home fire safety visit

If you, or someone you know, is at risk from fire, we offer free Home Fire Safety Visits 7 days a week at a time that suits you. We’ll fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them. Booking a visit is easy:

Call 0800 0731 999

Text ‘fire’ to 61611

Visit http://www.firescotland.gov.uk

If you must cook chips in a traditional chip pan you should follow these additional fire safety tips – not just during National Chip Week but all year round.

  •  Turn the pan handle to the side so that fat or oil doesn’t get spilled by accident
  • Never fill the pan more than one-third full of fat or oil
  • Make sure chips are dry before putting them into hot fat or oil
  • Never walk away when the pan’s on the heat

A wide range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe from fire are available on the SFRS website: http://www.firescotland.gov.uk

SFRS recently ran a TV, radio and press advert featuring Station Commander Scott Kennedy recounting a fatal chip pan fire he attended. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCfvMMUpeFM

While it’s better to be safe than sorry as far as cooking chips is concerned, chips clearly have their ‘plaice’ (sorry!) at the top of the charts of the nation’s favourite foods. One artistic lady is taking this love the length and breadth of the UK this week:

AngelOFNorth

When a tourist thinks of Great Britain, the first things that spring to mind are our national icons such as Big Ben and Stonehenge, and our most famous dish – Fish & Chips. Other than eating a portion of chips looking over the White Cliffs of Dover, the two have never been combined – until now. To celebrate Chip Week renowned food artist Prudence Staite has recreated six British icons using 10kg of chips, including: the Angel of the North, Big Ben, the Loch Ness Monster, Stonehenge, the London Eye and the White ‘Chips’ of Dover.

Prudence Staite and her team spent six months planning, trialling and carefully constructing each sculpture.  Both chip shop chips and oven chips were used, carefully selecting the perfect combination of chips for each sculpture.

Here are juicy facts on the creation of the sculptures:

·         Angel of the North- 240 chips were used and took 12 hours to build

·         Big Ben – 200 chips were used and took 6 hours to build

·         Loch Ness Monster – 7 chips were used and took 5 hours to build

·         Stone Henge -75 chips were used and took 5 hours to build

·         London Eye –  207 chips were used and took 12 hours to build

·         White ‘Chips’ of Dover – 70 chips were used and took 4 hours to build

Prudence said: “We had so much fun with this project, from the very first sketches to the technical challenges around how the sculptures would hold together.

“Iconic landmarks in Britain are so important to our cultural history and eating chips is such a British tradition, it felt natural to combine the two and create some history of our own. It did leave us a little hungry though!”

Yes everyone loves a chip, but one great debate still rages – salt and sauce or salt and vinegar? Food for thought …!

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