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Chip pans cause 10% of house fires

Category: Scotland

Published: 15th Jul 2012 10:19:44

One in 10 house fires in Scotland is started by unattended chip or hot food pans, according to figures collected by the Scottish Conservatives.

In 2011, 10.4% of fires were caused by chip pans, compared with 9.6% in the previous two years.

The Conservatives said the figures were cause for concern and have called for an awareness campaign.

A Scottish government spokesman said the levels had reduced by more than two-thirds in the past 10 years.

The figures, collected from Scotland's eight fire services, varied from region to region, with Lothian and Borders recording the highest level, with 22.7% of fires caused by chip pans in 2011.

The Conservative's local government spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: "The number of fires in Scotland caused by chip pans has risen this year and that must be a cause for concern.

The most important message we can give is not to be complacent and always be on your guard”

"There used to be awareness campaigns warning the public about the risks of leaving hot food pans unattended.

"There has been speculation that an increase in house fires has been caused by the smoking ban and rising prices in pubs, leading to more people drinking at home."

She said fire services were under enough pressure without having to deal with such a "high volume of unnecessary calls".

"So many fires are avoidable, but that is particularly true of hot food pan fires, so the idea of a campaign needs to be revisited," she said.

"These statistics show thousands of cases where carelessness is not only putting extra strain on fire crews, but placing lives across Scotland in danger."

A Scottish government spokesman said figures had reduced by more than two-thirds since 2001/02 which indicated "improving awareness of the danger of fire in our homes".

"However, every house fire is one too many and that is why the Scottish government and fire services continue to work hard educating people about fire prevention measures they can take," he added.

"The most important message we can give is not to be complacent and always be on your guard.

"We also urge you to get a smoke alarm and check it regularly to ensure it is in working order - alarms really do save lives."

He said that home fire safety visits could be arranged via the Don't Give Fire A Home website.

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BBC News, 2012. Chip pans cause 10% of house fires [Online] (Updated 15th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1440604/Chip-pans-cause-10-of-house-fires [Accessed 23rd Jul 2014]

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