Fat Fires

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The First Aid Team
by First Aid Team

Fat Fires

Chip pan fires cause around 20% of all accidental household fires and nearly 20 people a day are killed or injured everyday in accidental fires that start in their kitchen and the most common source of these are deep-fat fryers.

As fats and oils heat up, they firstly start to boil, then smoke before catching fire – as an example, most vegetable oils start smoking at around 230C whilst animal fats such as lard or dripping have a smoking point of about 190C and, shortly afterwards, the fat will ignite. It can also ignite if any hot fat comes into contact with a flame or hot hob.

Fire depends on three things, – the triangle of fire as it’s often referred. Heat, fuel and Oxygen, deprive the fire of any of these and it will go out.

First and foremost, never take any chances with your safety and that of others; in any fire no matter how small the priority is to get everyone out of the building and call the Fire Brigade at once on 999.

If, and only if, it is safe to do so turn off the heat at once.

Do NOT attempt to move the pan or throw it out of a window, you will only get injured (or worse) and will spread the fire

Never, never, never try to put a fat fire out with water, it will explode and create a fireball doing far more damage than the original fire might have. To see what can happen when even a small amount of water comes into contact with hot fat then take a look at this video from Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

Remember, get out then call the Fire Brigade

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