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Pancake Day mayhem

Pancake Day mayhem

We’re approaching the time of year when the good citizens of the UK go a little nuts for pancakes.

Whether covered in syrup, or something savoury like cheese and ham, or perhaps with the most traditional topping of lemon and sugar, nearly everyone loves a pancake on Shrove Tuesday – which, for the statistically-minded, is always 47 days before whenever Easter Sunday falls!

But with lots of pancake-related frivolity going on in the kitchen, which generally involves very hot frying pans, it’s a fun-filled day that can all too easily end in tragedy, as the statistics show.

Home cover claims leap on Pancake Day

Figures from the insurer Policy Expert indicate that claims for damage to property and possessions leap by 20% for accidents which occur on the day millions are get busy in the kitchen pouring pancake mix onto red hot circles of metal.

Not only that, the damage caused is generally more costly too as the stats show that claim values for pancake day disasters are 14% higher than an average day’s claim.

Families and hot oil don’t mix

This is especially worrying as Shrove Tuesday is a day that families often get children involved in the cooking process and, as we know, special little helpers can also be special little disasters in the kitchen.

Hot fat left in pans on the heat is one of the most common causes of house fires, and many people make the terrible mistake of throwing water on to douse any flames, which only makes matters worse in the case of oil.

Shrove Tuesday safety tips

The stats show that over half of all domestic fires start in the kitchen so it’s vital to be safety conscious when making pancakes. Here are a number of tips to help you stay safe when cooking up a pancake storm:

Smoke alarms – Make sure you have kitchen smoke alarms fitted and working.

Children, pets and hot oil – Keep kids well away from the stove and be extra vigilant. Also look out for any wandering pets as it can be easy to trip over them.

Unattended pans and oil – Never leave pans unattended when the heat is on underneath as oil can combust when it becomes too hot.

Smoking pans – Never pour the pancake mix into a pan if the oil is smoking as it indicates the fat is too hot and it could ‘jump’ out of the  pan on contact.

Water to put out oil fires – Do not, in any circumstance, use water or a fire extinguisher to put out oil that’s on fire in a pan. One method is to wet a tea towel, wring it out, and then place it over the pan edges.

Closing doors – If there is a fire and it gets out of control, close doors leading into the kitchen or any other room the fire has taken hold to help prevent its spread.

Call the emergency services – Call the emergency services immediately and vacate the property, warning neighbours.

Checking the heat is off – Double and triple check that the heat has been turned off once pancakes are cooked. It’s very common to dish them out, and then absent-mindedly put the pan back on a direct flame, forgetting it’s on.


Policy Expert

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.

Published 18th February 2019