On the 17th October there was a house fire in Corby near Northampton which tragically led to the death of a 46 year old man Craig Robertson. Two younger adults escaped from the property from an upstairs window as smoke and flames spread quickly through the house.
The fire service are not fans of chip fans as they are responsible for a lot of house fires. They reach extremely hot temperatures and it is easy to get distracted and leave them unattended. We do not know the ins and and outs of the cause of the fire near Northampton but it needs to inspire warnings about the dangers of chip fans – if you have to use them do not use them unattended. In fact do not leave any cooking unattended as its one of the most significant fire hazards in the home.
Smoke alarms were found in the house but they were not working which is another lesson that we can all take away from this tragedy.
- Smoke alarms should not be placed too near the kitchen as this is likely to cause false alarms which is likely to lead to the removing of batteries or ignoring it when it does go off.
- They should be placed between possible fire sources and any exits to ensure the longest possible warning time.
- Be careful of putting them too close to bathrooms in case of steam causing false alarms.
With a smoke alarm you will get an early warning and with a fire extinguisher you may be able to intervene if the fire is not out of control.
If the fire is out of control you may not be able to get through the house to get everyone to safety so it is best to have escape routes planned out and agreed. In this Northampton fire, the other two people in the house escaped to safety through an upstairs window.
All of this is covered in a professional fire risk assessment for your business but these do not exist at home. We offer a professional service for commercial premises but if you would like to think more about safety at home you can download our free domestic fire risk assessment with guidance notes.