Home Fire Safety Advice

Do you know how to keep your home safe from fire? Do you know how to prevent a fire in the home? Would you know what to do if a fire were to start? Within this blog, we will explore these questions and give you helpful advice and tips on fire safety in the home.

It is essential to protect your home by having working smoke alarms installed throughout. Smoke alarms are the first responder in the event of a fire, so it is vital you have adequate protection.

We recommend following the British Standards, which state that heat detectors should be installed in every kitchen and smoke alarms should be installed in the circulation space on each storey, e.g. hallways and landings. A smoke detector should also be installed in the principal habitable room, such as the living room. Check to see if the Fire alarm systems in your home are compliant with the British Standards.

To lower the risk of fire in your home, regular testing and maintenance of your alarms are key. To ensure you have a working smoke alarm, you will need to understand how to test a smoke alarm effectively.

Understand how to prevent common fires in the home and practice home fire safety, by considering how to cook safely and taking care with electrics, cigarettes and candles.

Cooking Safety in the Home

Around half of house fires are caused by cooking accidents. Below are some top tips on how to prevent cooking-related fires:

  • Take pans off the heat if you leave the room
  • Keep children away from cooking instruments and appliances
  • Be careful when wearing loose clothing when cooking
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker/hob
  • Ensure the cooker is switched off after use
  • Keep the oven and hob clean
  • Do not put metal in the microwave
  • Take care when handling oil or cooking fat

Electrical Home Life Safety Advice

With technology and electrical devices now playing a large part in our lives, our homes are more in danger from electrical fires. In fact, faulty electrics are responsible for approximately 6,000 fires in homes across the UK, every year. To keep you and your family safe and minimise the risk of electrical fires you should follow these fire safety tips:

  • Ensure there is a British or European safety mark on the product or device
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from water
  • Unplug devices that are not in use
  • Check and replace old or broken cables and leads
  • Look out for loose wires
  • Only use one plug per socket
  • Do not overload extension leads or adapters and be aware of their limits
  • Make sure your electrical appliances do not overheat

Smoking and Fire Safety

Aside from being hazardous to your health, smoking also poses a high risk of fire in your home – there is a fatality every 6 days caused by a cigarette-related fire. The best way to prevent fires from cigarettes is to smoke outside of your home, or make sure that cigarettes are put out completely, every time. Follow these fire prevention tips to keep safe:

  • Use a proper ashtray
  • Never leave a lit cigarette unattended
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children
  • When smoking, take extra care if you are tired, taking medication or under the influence of alcohol
  • Never smoke in bed

Candle Safety

Although candles can create a homely, scented ambience, they should be used with caution as they are one of the most common causes of house fires. In 2020, over 200 fires in London alone were connected to the use of candles. The tips below can help you to enjoy candles safely:

  • Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room, especially when you go to bed
  • These items should always be held firmly in heat-resistant holders and placed on a stable surface where they will not be knocked over
  • Keep candles away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, clothes and hair
  • Take extra care if you have lots of flammable items in your home, such as collections of books, magazines and papers
  • Tea light candles can get very hot and without suitable holders can melt through plastic surfaces
  • Keep naked flames out of reach from children and pets

Despite our best efforts, sometimes accidents can happen outside of our control. So, what should you do in the event of a fire?

We all enjoy our sleep, yet we are more at risk of a fire starting during the night. It may be useful to create an evening routine to prevent a fire-related incident:

  • Close doors to stop fire from spreading as quickly
  • Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances
  • Do not leave washing machines, dishwashers or cookers on overnight
  • Extinguish all candles and cigarettes
  • Make sure your escape routes are clear
  • Ensure all members of your household know where to find the house keys

Establishing a clear fire escape plan is important, so you know how to evacuate your home in the event of a fire. To make sure your route is effective, you must ensure:

  • All exists are clear
  • Practice your escape route
  • Review your escape route if the layout of your home changes
  • Keep back and front door keys in easy reach, alongside window keys
  • Always have a back-up route

It is also vital to know what to do if your escape route is blocked:

  • Make an emergency call to 999
  • Place bedding or towels at the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering the room
  • If it is safe to do so, potentially use a window to exit the building, using bedding to lower yourself down or break the window

In the scenario of a fire starting within your home, we have five key points for you to remember:

  1. Try not to panic
  2. Get out, stay out and call 999
  3. Never attempt to handle the fire yourself, wait for the Fire and Rescue Service to arrive
  4. If there is smoke, keep low
  5. Do not waste time collecting valuable belongings

We hope this blog has kept you up to date on how to stay safe from fire within your home. If you have any questions, please call our friendly and knowledgeable team on 01691 664100 or enquiries@aico.co.uk.

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