Fire chiefs’ alert over chip pans

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LEIGH residents about being warned about the dangers of chip pans following an increase in incidents over the last few weeks.

Fire chiefs spoke out after three serious blazes across the county caused by unattended pans of food in a single day.

Crews from Farnworth and Wigan fire stations were called to a house in the borough last week and used a hose reel to put the fire out and a fan to clear the smoke afterwards.

A chip pan had been left unattended causing the fire and the entire ground floor of the house had been damaged by the smoke from the blaze.

Firefighters carried out a Home Safety Check once everything had been dealt with.

Earlier in the day the same crews had dealt with two other virtually identical incidents in Greater Manchester despite a long public information campaign warning of the hazard unattended pans of food left over a heat source can represent.

Head of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services’ Prevention Services Area Manager Dave Keelan said today that they were anxious to make sure that this key safety message does get through to residents.

Well over half of all domestic fires start in the kitchen after peckish home owners start cooking and then forget that a pan has been left over the heat.

Mr Keelan said: “It’s a relief that the people involved in all of these incidents escaped relatively unscathed from the fires they suffered – but they will still have to face the upset of getting the damage to their homes fixed.

“Sixty per cent of house fires start in the kitchen usually as a result of somebody being distracted.

“And this can be even for just a few seconds. You should never leave cooking unattended, even to answer the phone or the door.

“We are asking residents to remember that a working smoke alarm will give you those precious seconds to escape in the event of a fire.”

For advice on fire safety in the kitchen, visit

Borough residents who would like a free Home Safety Check, which may include the fitting of smoke alarms, should contact GMFRS on 0800 555 815.