A Blackpool firefighter has today urged resort drinkers to leave the chip pan in the cupboard after a night on the alcohol.
It comes after The Gazette reported a mum’s plea to ban the pan after her son died in a kitchen fire, sparked by heating a chip pan full of oil on the hob while more than four times the drink drive limit.
Blackpool and Fylde Coroner Alan Wilson recorded Sean Taylor’s death at his home on Miller Street, South Shore, on April 8 was accidental, but heard the alcohol the 41-year-old had consumed that night was a contributing factor in his death as it would have made it more difficult for him to escape the blaze.
Mr Taylor’s mum, Pauline Taylor of North Shore, has called for people to stop cooking with fat.
Watch manager Geoff Etheridge, of South Shore fire station, said: “It’s not necessarily the chip pan that is the dangerous thing, it’s the person using it.
“There are safe ways to use a chip pan – never fill it more than one third full and never leave it unattended. Even if the front door bell goes turn the pan off before you leave the kitchen. If the phone goes, turn it off.
“We recommend that people use a deep fat fryer of a reputable make covered by British standards which are controlled by a thermostat.
“With regards to using them under the influence of alcohol it’s simple a case of don’t.
“You can fall asleep in that state, leaving the chip pan on, and you lose control of your common sense.”
Watch manager Etheridge said if people were planning a night out where drink would be involved it was better to either have a take away or prepare something before they went out.
A Fire Service spokesman said: “The hazard posed by oil overheating and catching fire in hob-top chip pans left unattended is well known, yet in spite of the support we have had from media and other agencies to publicise the risk it is desperately sad that another victim has died in such circumstances. The tragedy emphasises the need to follow our fire safety advice, which would be to simply avoid cooking – especially using a chip pan of hot oil – when you’re tired or have been drinking.
“Better still, ‘ban the pan’ altogether and rely on a takeaway or a sandwich.”
Free home safety checks are available from the fire service. Call 0800 169 1125.