Why should chip pans be banned? When my deep-fat-fryer was on the blink, I used one for a while, and it was just fine. As usual, the odd couple of useless moron's, means the PC and do-gooders brigade will be calling for them to be banned.
They key is, as bert says, not to leave them unattended, even for a second, or you are asking for trouble.
People often don't realise how dangerous they can be when they leave them unattended, and don't realise how dangerous they are in comparison to deep-fat-fryers. Also, when they go up, the amount of people who try to fight them with water despite it being common knowledge that hot oil + water should never be mixed, is absurd.