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Chip pan warning after fire in students residence


Firefighters have today issued a further warning about the dangers of leaving cooking unattended following a chip pan fire at a university halls of residence - which comes less than a week after urging people to throw away chip pans during National Chip Week (17th - 23rd February).

Fire appliances from Bangor and Menai Bridge were mobilised to Bangor University's Glaslyn Halls of Residence at 20.01hrs on Thursday 27th February in response to a kitchen fire. Firefighters used two sets of breathing apparatus in dealing with the incident.

Terry Williams, Head of Community Safety, said: "Fortunately, the smoke alarms activated in the halls of residence so students could be safely evacuated - otherwise this incident could have been much more serious.
"This fire was confined to the kitchen area but comes just a week after we were out warning of the dangers of chip pans during National Chip Week.
"Leaving a chip pan unattended for any length of time can have disastrous results as the oil can easily overheat and ignite - even the smallest distraction could lead to a fire in a matter of moments.

"Oven chips are safer as well as being healthier, but if you do choose to deep fat fry please don't leave the pan unattended. If your chip pan does ignite, don't throw water over it. Get out, stay out and call 999.

"Better still - throw away your old style chip pan altogether and use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer."

"It only takes a few minutes for a small fire to develop into one that is serious and life threatening. If you're asleep and a fire breaks out, you're in serious trouble - just a couple of breaths of smoke can be enough to knock you completely unconscious."

In 2007, Sean Bowers, 24, from Penyffordd and Andrew Roberts, 39, from Ruthin, died following separate fires in their homes - both caused by chip pans.
If you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, follow our top tips to reduce your risk of fire;

• 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

• Got the post pub munchies? Don't cook 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

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks, where a member of the Service will visit your home, give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and fit new alarms - all free of charge. This service is available to all residents in North Wales.

To register for a free home fire safety check, please call the bilingual 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit

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