|Kent Fire and Rescue Service offers free home safety visits to all Kent residents
Firefighters discovered that the man had badly burnt himself while attempting to tackle the fire by himself.
Never attempt to tackle a fire yourself - that's the stark message from firefighters after a pensioner suffered burns to his face and arms following a fire in his Ashford home.
Two crews were called to the flat in Meadowsweet House, Hackfield, Ashford, just before 1.30pm on November 5th, after the man, in his 70s, tried to tackle a fire in his kitchen caused by a pan of hot oil that had caught light.
By the time the crews from Ashford and Charing arrived, the man had managed to escape the flat, but the fire had spread from the pan to curtains and some nearby cupboards, threatening to engulf the kitchen.
Firefighters discovered that the man had badly burnt himself and while crews gave first aid, an ambulance was called to the scene. Soon after, paramedics took the pensioner to hospital for treatment.
Station Manager Lee Rose said: "The crews were told that when the resident - who'd left his cooking unattended - realised the pan was alight, he attempted to extinguish the fire by throwing water on to the hot oil. The oil then exploded, burning the man in the process and causing nearby curtains to catch light.
Thanks to the quick response of firefighters, the damage to the man's property was limited to the kitchen
"As this incident proves, never try to tackle a fire yourself, you could get seriously hurt. In the event of a fire our advice is always this: get out, stay out and dial 999. No one's possessions are worth more than their lives."
Lee added: "Despite all our efforts to get the message across about the dangers of cooking with hot oil, we are still being called to a number of fires in the home involving the old style chip pans, with the kitchen being the main area where most house fires start.
"In just a few minutes, the oil can overheat and cause the pan to ignite. My sincere advice is to throw away your old style chip pan - thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers are a far safer option. Leaving any kind of cooking unattended places you at risk - people don't realise how quickly a fire can take hold."
Follow these simple guidelines and you'll help keep your kitchen safe:
- Never fill a chip pan more than a third full of oil
- Pat food dry first as water makes oil sizzle up, which can be dangerous
- If the oil starts to smoke don't put the food in - turn off the heat and leave it to cool
- Avoid cooking with a chip pan after drinking alcohol
- Don't leave the pan unattended
If you have a chip pan fire:
- Call the fire and rescue service on 999 immediately
- Never move the pan and never throw water over it
- Turn off the heat (if you can do so safely) and allow it to cool completely
- Fit smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test the batteries regularly
Thanks to the quick response of firefighters, the damage to the man's property was limited to the kitchen.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service offers free home safety visits to all Kent residents. The visits take around 30 minutes and a free 10-year battery smoke alarm may be fitted where needed.