National Chip Week has sparked a warning from Surrey firefighters who were called out to 138 cooking related emergencies last year.

Chip lovers have been urged to “stand by your pan” after it was revealed that 19 of those fires were caused by chip pans or deep fat fryers going up in flames.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service officer Paul Otway said: “Chip pans and deep fat fryers should never be left unattended. Even a moment’s distraction can have potentially devastating consequences.

“Always stand by your pan and if you are called away from the kitchen, make sure you take the pans of the heat. Oven chips are a safer option but if you do insist on deep fat frying then please take extra care.

“Chips will quite rightly be on the menu for many people this week and by taking our advice there is no reason why people can’t enjoy tucking in during National Chip Week without the need to call 999.”

National Chip Week runs from Monday 20 February to Sunday 26 February.