Using a deep fat fryer can be extremely dangerous. Hot oil can cause serious injuries by burning and scalding, and if a fryer is allowed to catch fire, resulting injuries can be equally severe. The following safety tips can help to prevent deep fat fryer accidents at work and at home.
Using a deep fat fryer safely
To prevent deep fat fryer accidents:
- Never fill fryers above one third of their full capacity
- Whenever possible, dry food items before placing them into the oil, as water can cause the oil to explode
- Always test oil temperatures with a piece of potato or bread. When the temperature is high enough, the piece will crisp rapidly
- Never place food into smoking oil; turn the heat off and allow the oil to cool before adding food
It is also imperative never to leave deep fat fryers unattended, as they may overheat and burst into flames.
According to fireservice.co.uk, 20 per cent of kitchen fires are caused by deep fat fryers. Every year, around 4,000 people are injured by fryer-related kitchen fires at work or in the home. Use of fryers with built-in thermostats can help to prevent such fires. Naturally, it is important to keep thermostat-controlled fryers in good, safe working condition, as a defective thermostat may also result in a fryer overheating and causing a fire.
In case of fire
In the event of a fryer bursting into flames, prevent injuries at work or at home by:
- Immediately calling 999
- Having a clear, easy to access escape route
- Never attempting to move a burning fryer
- If doing so is safe, turning off the heat
It is imperative never to attempt to put out fryer fires with water, as this will cause fireballs, as well as significantly increasing the risk of scalding by exploding oil.
Kitchen staff must be protected against workplace accidents by their employers ensuring:
- Adequate training in the safe use of fryers is provided
- Thermostatic fryers are well maintained and regularly checked for safety
- Escape routes are available and kept clear at all times
If you suffered a deep fat fryer-related injury at work because these precautions were not taken, you should call us, Accident Advice Helpline, as soon after your work accident as possible, as you may qualify for industrial injury compensation.
Our freephone numbers for mobiles and landlines are 0333 500 0993 and 0800 689 0500. Both lines are confidential, obligation-free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.