Most fires in the home can be prevented, by taking some basic and common sense precautions. It’s vital that you know how to reduce the chances of a fire starting in your home and keep yourself, your family and your property safe from fire.
- Identify and be aware of the potential fire risks within your home
- Know what to do in order to reduce or prevent these risks
- Put together an escape plan in case a fire does break out and ensure you have working smoke alarms.
Some key tips to address right now:
- Electrical products – too many electrical appliances plugged into a single socket can lead to overheating. Always use only one appliance per socket, and make sure you replace old or poorly wired appliances and cables. Even if an appliance is left plugged in (but switched off) it often still has electricity flowing through it and if a fault develops, the transformer could overheat and start a fire. Remember to switch off power points, and unplug any electrical appliances from the socket.
- Have a smoke alarm fitted – smoke alarms are a cheap and simple solution, and will provide a few vital minutes of warning in the event of a fire. Smoke alarms should be fitted on every level of a house. Remember to check them regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.
- Fire safety in the kitchen – the kitchen is often where accidental fires occur so safe cooking practice is essential for a fire safe home. Common problem areas include cooking with hot oil or leaving hot pans or pots unsupervised, so always be extra vigilant here. Heat detectors are also on the market so may be worth considering.
- Electric blankets – these account for over 5000 fires a year in the home and you can prevent these by taking some simple steps. Always follow the instructions to use and store your blanket safely.
- Candles – be careful to avoid lighting candles near flammable items such as curtains and fabrics. Make sure candles are properly secured in a stable holder and never leave a burning flame unattended.
- Smoking – never smoke in bed and take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol as it's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning. Always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and do not empty your ashtray into a bin because this can cause the bin to catch fire.
- Doors – ensure that doors shut correctly to make your home a safer one should a fire break out.
Identify any potential risks and protect your home and your family. Landlords should also be aware of their obligations to provide a safe property.
Remember if you are unsure about the safety of your home, you can get free advice from your local fire and rescue service.