Firefighters tackled a chip pan fire in a Weymouth flat after it was left unattended.

Two crews from Weymouth fire station responded to an alarm coming from a first-floor flat in Sedgefield Close at 6.30pm on Tuesday, June 12.

When the firefighters entered the building they found a chip pan on fire in the kitchen and extinguished it using two sets of breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet.

The resident had closed the fire door which had prevented escalation of the fire.

Advice from the fire service about chip pans is to not even use them. The service says that a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer is a far safer alternative, as it can’t overheat.

There are two main causes of chip pan fires: The oil or fat overheats and catches fire or the oil or fat spills onto the cooker, either because the pan has been filled too high or because wet chips have been put into the hot oil, causing it to bubble up and overflow.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue have the following advice for if you use a chip pan:

  • Never fill the pan more than one third full of oil or fat.
  • Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on.
  • Make sure the food is dried thoroughly before putting it into the hot oil – otherwise it might spit or bubble up.
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it is too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool, otherwise it might catch fire.
  • Never put food into the pan if the oil is smoking.

If your pan does catch fire:

  • Turn off the heat under the pan (if it’s safe to do so) and allow it to cool completely.
  • Don’t try and move the pan.
  • Never throw water over the pan – the effects can be horrific.
  • Don’t try and tackle the fire yourself – leave the room, close the door, get everyone out of the property and call 999.