pancakesSeveral Fire & Rescue Services have issued advice on how to have fun and stay safe on Pancake Day 2013.

Today [12 Feb] marks the beginning of Lent, when thousands of people throughout the country make pancakes, before they begin a 40 day fast. But doing so, Steve Helps from Derbyshire FRS says, increases the chance of "devasting fat and chip pan fires".

The Group Manager for DFRS explained: "Making pancakes can be lots of fun for the whole family and they certainly can be delicious. However, over 50% of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen so please take care, especially when cooking with hot oil. By following some simple safety tips you can keep you and your family safe from fire."

Here are Derbyshire's tips for using a frying pan or cooking with hot oil safely:
•Never leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on.
•Do NOT move the pan if it is on fire!
•Don't take any risks. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over it.
•Don't tackle the fire yourself
•When you have finished cooking, make sure that all appliances are turned off and the cooking area is clear.

The call for caution around chip pans has been backed by Debbie Robinson, deputy community safety manager for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, who said: "When you're distracted by delicious, warm pancakes, fire safety may not be at the forefront of your mind.

"Cooking is the single biggest cause of accidental house fires in Lincolnshire so take extra care when making pancakes and make sure all hot appliances are supervised at all times."

The risks have also been highlighted in Essex where Assistant Divisional Officer Chris Noakes said: “Shrove Tuesday is a night when thousands of homes across Essex get their frying pans out and treat themselves to pancakes.

“Frying is a major cause of house fires in the county and we are warning people to take care when they are making their pancakes."Posted 12/02/2013 by