A business owner from North Tyneside is helping Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to launch this new initiative.
Simon Singh, 30, owner of “Howden Chippy” in North Tyneside is counting his blessings after he tackled a fire at his fish and chip shop which left him with devastating burns after the thermostat on his deep fat fryer failed, causing it to burst into flames.
Mr Singh said: “I just acted on instinct and didn’t think about my own safety at the time. I panicked and knocked the cut off switch back on, which caused the flames to spread quickly across the ceiling, engulfing the room.
"I was very badly burned during the incident, but I’m really lucky to be alive. I’ve never been so frightened. Officers from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service came to see me straight after the fire and they have given me the support and advice I need to train my staff and make our workplace much safer. I cannot thank them enough. ”
Mr Singh continued: “After talking to the Fire and Rescue Service, I now know that I should keep my fryers, range and thermostats well maintained. If there is a fire, I should shut off the gas supply immediately and close the shutters on the fryers, get out, stay out and call 999. You should never attempt to tackle the fire yourself or throw water onto boiling fat. I will also be training my staff regularly, so they are aware of what to do in the event of a fire.”
Fire Safety Officers launched the initiative in February at the UK’s largest fish and chip and fast food exhibition in Newcastle. The event attracted over 2,000 business owners from the industry where officers gave free fire safety advice and demonstrations showing the devastating consequences when water is thrown onto a burning deep fat fryer.