We previously spoke about Carbon Monoxide (CO) protection for your boiler, as it starts to get chillier again as we move into the winter month, it’s time to make sure you are protected from fires & CO leaks, as the winter appliances come out of the cupboards. As we start to use these more regularly, the associated fire and CO risk within your home also increases. Follow our cold weather safety tips to keep you and your home free from fires this winter.
Did you know? On average, in England there are 7,700 chimneys fires a year.*
As the freezing weather kicks in, a lot of us may be ramping up our warming methods and winter comforts in an attempt to ward off the cold. Many of us will take the chill off with a gas fire as this is an easy and fairly instant heat source, however, make sure this is protected by a CO alarm in case of any issues. Alternatively, if you are lighting up the log burner or an open fire, it is recommended that you get your chimney swept yearly to avoid the risk of a chimney fire. Making sure fires are covered by adequate fire alarms is key. By taking chimney safety measures, practising preventive measures, and following these helpful chimney safety tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of chimney-related fires in winter. By fitting the right type of alarm sensor you will avoid nuisance alarms and get the best protection. For further guidance on what alarm to fit, contact our Technical Team.
Other ways to stay warm such as plug-in oil radiators and fan heaters can also be a fire hazard to be aware of this winter and you must follow electrical safety precautions to remain safe. Always ensure that these items are in good condition, especially their cables and that nothing flammable is left too close to these heat sources. Another popular heating item in the winter months is an electric blanket. Although this may be a great way to warm up a chair or your bed on a cold night, it can also be a potential fire risk. Not only does this carry the normal fire risks of an electrical item but it is also constantly sat on fabric which can be highly flammable should there be any issues with the product. Don’t forget the importance of electric blanket fire safety this winter, alternatively, you could use a hot water bottle to gain warmth this winter as the temperature drops.
Not only do people tend to use more heaters throughout the winter, but they also seek comfort. This time of year, a lot of people seek a cosy feel in their homes and one way of achieving this is the use of a warm scented candle. Although these may smell lovely and give a feel of comfort, only use these when you are in the room with them and keep any flammable items away from the flame. To avoid using them during power cuts, keep a battery-operated torch handy. Follow our candle fire safety tips this winter.
My personal favourite winter comfort is a warm, hearty meal. There’s nothing quite like coming in on a cold winter’s night to a warming stew or a comforting chilli, even more so when they have been cooking away all day in the slow cooker to make them extra tasty. Of course, this is what slow cookers were designed for, but always check that nothing is too close to the slow cooker as it may get very hot and it is a good idea to check that the cable is still in good condition. As with your normal cooker, a heat alarm is recommended in the kitchen to pick up high and rapidly rising heat that is associated with a cooking fire, or a heat and Carbon Monoxide alarm where there is also a CO risk. Kitchen protection is of great importance as cookers in the kitchen are responsible for 50% of accidental fires in dwellings.**
Simply follow all our winter safety advice in this article when using these listed items when cold weather strikes, it is also useful to make sure that you have adequate fire and CO detection systems fitted where winter warmer products are used. If you need any help with where to site your alarms or choosing your high-quality alarms and sensors , need more home fire safety support, why not contact our Technical Team today.
*Communities and Local Government, March 2015
**Fire Statistics: England April 2015 to March 2016.