FIRE SAFETY WITHIN THE HOME – Quick Tips
- Install smoke alarms today and ensure they are in good working order. Note: Your sense of smell does not work when you are asleep.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors will become mandatory in new and renovated homes in 2014 but why wait. The biggest killer in fires is smoke inhalation so why not invest in you and your family safety.
- Check the smoke alarm once every week, by pressing the test button. Replace the batteries when they are not working and every year for the standard 1 year smoke alarm.
- For smoke alarms that are wired electrically to your mains electricity, the back up battery should be replaced as indicated on the unit
- A minimum of 3 smoke alarms, properly located (one on each floor) should suit most homes. One in the hallway, one on the landing and one in the attic. For maximum protection, a smoke alarm should be fitted in every room, except the bathroom, kitchen and garage.
- Smoke alarms should be fitted at the highest point and close to the centre of the ceiling as possible.
- Vacuum the smoke alarms regularly and wipe the casing and slots as they can get clogged with dust which may prevent them from working properly. If you have a mains operated smoke alarm, ensure you switch off the smoke alarm at the mains before cleaning and remember to switch it on again. Install working smoke alarms and test them regularly
HAVE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN
What to do in the event of a fire
- Keep escape routes clear at all times.
- Whether the fire has been discovered by you or your smoke alarm, stay calm and put your fire escape plan into action.
- Check doors with the back of your hand; if they are warm it means the fire is on the other side, so do not open them. Only open doors you need to escape through.
- If there is smoke, crawl along near to the floor where the air will be cleaner.
- Raise the alarm. Shout to wake everyone up, and make your way out by the quickest route.
- Do not investigate the fire.
- Go to an assembly point outside the home, where all occupants should meet.
- Once everyone is out of the house call the Fire Service at 999 or 112 from a call box, mobile phone or neighbour’s house.
- Do not go back in until the Fire Service tells you it is safe. Make a fire escape plan and practice it often
Put a fire blanket and working fire extinguisher within easy reach in the kitchen and learn how to use them. When cooking, always use back rings first and turn in utensil handles, ensuring the handles are not over other rings.
- Keep cookers clean – grease is a fire risk.
- Turn off cooker when not in use.
- Never use a cooker for drying clothes.
- Check cooker is switched off properly before going to bed.
- Clean or replace filters in extractor fans on a regular basis.
- Avoid using chip pans as they are a major fire risk
- If you do have to use a chip pan never fill the chip pan more than one third full of oil or fat.
- Test the oil or fat temperature by placing a small piece of bread in the pan. If it crisps quickly, the oil or fat is ready.
- If the oil or fat is smoking then it is too hot. Turn the heat off and let the oil or fat cool down before starting again.
- Never leave a chip pan unattended.
- Never move a hot chip pan. Electrical items should be used carefully and stored properly when not in use.
- Never overload sockets as it is a major fire risk.
- Never run electric cables across cookers.
- Switch off and plug out electrical appliances when not in use.
- If electrical cables or plugs are damaged, worn or frayed, contact qualified electrician.
Living Area Open Fires
- Always place a proper fitting spark guard and fire guard in front of an open fire.
- Never place anything on the fire guard.
- Don’t store items like papers, magazines, clothing or combustible items near a fire.
- Never use an open fire to air clothes as this is a major fire risk.
Get your chimney cleaned regularly – follow this recommended cleaning guide:
- Wood burning fires: 4 times a year when in use
- Solid fuel fires: Once a year if using smokeless fuel
- Solid fuel fires: Twice a year if using coal
- Oil Fires: Once a year
- Gas Fires: Once a year if designed for sweeping Portable Heaters
- Use portable heaters with extreme care.
- Position portable heaters away from furniture, curtains and flammable items.
- Never move heaters when in use.
- Ensure portable heaters are switched off and/or plugged out before you leave the house or before going to bed.
- Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure candles are in their proper holders.
- Position candles away from draughts.
- Ensure candles are NOT near items that may catch fire such as curtains, clothing or bedding
- Avoid moving a lit candle.
- Ensure all candles are properly extinguished before you leave the house or going to bed.
- Never ever smoke when you are feeling tired, especially when you are in bed or relaxing in a chair.
- Remember: medication and alcohol can make you drowsy and smoking is a real fire risk when you are tired and drowsy.
- Always use an ashtray when smoking.
- Empty all ashtrays before going to bed. Ensure the ashtray contents are fully extinguished by running them under a tap before emptying.
- Never ever smoke in the bedroom.
- Have a torch or flash lamp near your bed for emergency lighting.
- Bring your portable or mobile phone to your bedroom for emergency use.
- Take extreme care when using electrical items, such as mobile phone chargers and hair straighteners. Unplug and allow them to cool down completely before storage.
- Use electric blankets properly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Check your electric blanket regularly for wear and damage.
- When storing electric blankets, roll them instead of folding them.
- If your exits require keys for opening, ensure the keys are in the locks before going to bed.
- Ensure all escape routes are clear before going to bed.
We are delighted that you have taken the time to read this information on fire safety for your home and hope it has raised your awareness on fire safety.
Don’t Delay – Act Today! It is important that you use this information now to promote fire safety in your home for you and your family.