STRAIGHT TALK: Be afraid, be very afraid...of pancakes

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I’M sure many of you have drawn up a detailed battle plan for how to tackle the dangerous night on our calendar that is Shrove Tuesday.

No? Well according to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue you really should.

I’m sure the folks over at the county council, who handle the communications for the fire brigade, are well meaning enough – but the advice they sent out this week is enough to put the fear of God in you ahead of Tuesday’s annual pancake pig out.

Yes we shouldn’t be “flippant” (apologies for the hideous pun) about the dangers of fire – I’d hate to be caught in a blaze, it must be one of the worst things imaginable.

But, that said, while some safety advice is welcome, some is so obvious it doesn’t need to be said.

According to the fire and rescue press release this week, when you’ve finished cooking your pancakes you should “take the frying pan off the hob and turn off the heat source”.

As opposed to all those other occasions when its perfectly acceptable to leave the oven merrily on, churning out the gas to the woefully over-priced energy firms’ utter glee.

Similarly, “if the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot and you should take it off the heat to cool”. In other words if the pancake is going up in flames in your face it’s probably a very good sign to switch the heat off.

To be fair there maybe are some people who are unable to make that logical leap but I’d suggest they probably avoid cooking. And driving. And life.

Also, slightly more menacingly, they advise to “have a plan and follow it. Know exactly which way you will leave the house and know where you will go”.

Do they actually want us to draw up an evacuation plan for if it all goes wrong? That does seem remarkably doom-laden and unnecessary. I think I’d probably just pick the nearest door or window and run like the clappers. It’s a pretty short plan.

What other emergencies should we develop strategies for?

I’d personally like help developing an action plan for stopping getting the corners of my Sunday paper wet in the bath, for avoiding the creaky landing floorboard in the dark so I don’t wake my girlfriend up (literally impossible) and how to ensure I always land on an exact pound figure when I put petrol in my tank at the garage (why does that penny over bother me?). I’d welcome some blow-by-blow advice for any of those situations ahead of pancake day.

Still, some poor soul was probably tasked with spinning a two-line warning into a full blown release and at least by poking fun at their message I suppose I’ve done the team the job of getting their news out there.

No publicity is bad publicity and all that...