Last updated: 09/07/2018, 6:18 PM

Smoke alarm save in Wembley chip pan fire

22/01/2018 00:29
House or flat fire

Firefighters have warned people to never leave their cooking unattended after a chip pan fire left a block of converted flats on Wembley Park Drive, Wembley uninhabitable yesterday evening.

Fire investigators believe that a chip pan was cause of a fire that damaged all of a second floor flat and it’s roof. 11 people evacuated the building and neighbouring properties and the Brigade was alerted when a neighbour spotted smoke coming from the flat

Watch Manager Pete Clark said: “While we don’t know the exact circumstances of the fire, incidents like this one clearly show how quickly cooking fires can spread and why it’s vital that you never leave a chip pan on the heat unattended. Thankfully, residents in neighbouring  flats reported hearing a smoke alarm and so they had an early warning of the danger and were able to evacuate and call us.

"I would urge everyone to ensure their home as a number of working smoke alarms. As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor - in the hallways and the rooms you use the most, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen. They should be linked together and tested regularly.

“We attend around seven fires a day caused by cooking with over  60 per cent of all household fires start in the kitchen which is why it’s also important to never leave cooking unattended. These residents had a lucky escape.”

The Brigade's chip pan safety tips:

  • Simply changing the way you cook can prevent fire. Invest in a deep fat fryer or opt for oven chips as an alternative. If you are still using a chip pan or traditional fat fryer in your home be sure to follow these simple rules to reduce fire hazards and cook safely.
  • If you use a chip pan never fill it over a third full with oil or fat.
  • Never be tempted to cook with a chip pan after consuming alcohol. 
  • Never leave the pan alone with the heat on – not even for a few seconds 
  • Never put the chips in the pan if the oil has started smoking. Turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool down, or else it could catch fire

In the event of a fire follow these guidelines:

  • Don't panic and don’t take risks. 
  • Don't move the pan. 
  • Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a hot fat fire. 
  • If it's safe to do so - turn off the heat, but never lean over the pan to reach the controls. 
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, tell everyone else in the home to get out and don’t go back inside for any reason. 
  • Call 999

Four fire engines from Wembley, Park Royal and Willesden fire stations attended the incident. The Brigade was called at 0029 and the fire was under control at 0236.