Local Partners Come Together to Swap Dangerous Chip Pans and Help Save Lives in Warrington
Published by Mark Foster for Golden Gates Housing Trust in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities, Environment, Health
Staff from GGHT and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service with residents in Orford
Residents living in the Bewsey & Dallam and Orford & Longford areas of Warrington have benefitted from a ‘chip pan amnesty’ swap campaign organised by Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT).
Last year, 271 people died or were injured in house fires in the UK and a number of these were caused by chip pans. The damaged caused by these fires also cost significant amounts to repair, with average costs estimated at over £70,000 per property. Chip pans are also associated with high fat diets and an increased chance of getting Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD). Rates in Warrington are 17% above the average for England and CVD is the biggest cause of reduced life expectancy within Warrington.
The campaign has brought together GGHT, Warrington’s Public Health Team and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to target areas of Warrington which have been shown to have the highest number of residents using chip pans. Taking place over two days, the campaign targeted residents, urging them to swap their chip pans for a newer and safer deep fat fryer or air fryer.
It is hoped that the safe removal of old chip pans and installation of new safer fryers will reduce the risk of house fires. Over the two days over 60 new air fryers and deep fat fryers were swapped and given out. The fire service also had their new fire demonstration unit, the community outreach vehicle, out in the areas showing what kitchen fire damage looks like and helping people to spot the dangers of fire hazards.
As part of the swap, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service personnel took the opportunity to check over properties for fire risks and identify potential dangers that may occur within a resident’s home. They also took details of those who asked for smoke alarms to be fitted or who wanted further advice
By swapping for air fryers residents are reducing the risks associated with high fat diets. Staff from Warrington Public Health team were present to promote key Change4Life messages, provide healthy eating advice and recipe cards during the visits to encourage longer term behaviour change.
Head of Community Fire Protection and Community Safety Keith Brooks said: "Chip pan fires pose a threat to people’s safety. Approximately 70% of accidental home fires begin in the kitchen area and we as a Service recommend that people use a deep fat fryer or cook oven chips instead of using the old fashioned chip pan. However, if people do use a chip pan, it is advised that they never leave the pan unattended. If a fire starts, leave the area immediately, close all doors and call 999. We also cannot stress enough the importance of having working smoke detectors in the home”.
GGHT Chair, Roy Smith said: “Here at GGHT we are committed to making our homes safer and healthier. By residents swapping their old unsafe chip pan for a new deep fat fryer or air fryer is one way we are achieving this”.
If you live in Cheshire, you can arrange for a firefighter or a Community Safety Advocate to visit your home. During the visit advice will be given on how to make your home safer, what to do in the event of a fire and what to do if you are trapped by a fire. Free smoke alarms will also be fitted (if needed) with an explanation on how to maintain them correctly. To find out more about home safety please go to the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service website – www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/public-safety.