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Kitchen Oil Fires

Put out by the U.K. "Home Office" in 1999, this £1.5 million national advertising campaign was aimed at reducing the number of chip pan fires, across the United Kingdom. While the video is now eight years old, the information and message is relevant to ANY stove-top cooking oil fire. It is an amazingly well-done advertisement that demonstrates the volatility of cooking oil fires.

Apparently, Brits like to eat fresh chips (or fries) after drinking beer at the local pub, which has led to a nationwide epidemic of late night cooking oil fires. More than 4,600 people were injured in 1998, when trying to make fries. More than 30% of those injuries happened between 10 PM and 4 AM. As many as 46 people per year die as a result of these chip-pan fires. Sobering statistics, for sure.

In the typical scenario, the drunken Brit arrives home, decides to fix some French fries, pours oil in the pan, turns on the stove top and then passes out on the couch or sofa, awakening (or not) only after the oil is super-heated and on fire. A groggy, drunken person doesn’t make for a great fire-fighter and what you see in the video can easily be the result.

Knowing how to extinguish a stove-top cooking oil fire is demonstrated. Follow the 3 simple steps and you’ve controlled a volatile situation. Make the wrong move and you could be on fire in a split second – or worse – dead.

Use a deep fat fryer or buy your late-night fries at Micky Dee’s, but regardless, take 30 seconds and watch this video.

(reprint courtesy of

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