Preventing Fires at Home – Potential Causes and Steps to Take
We all lead busy lives these days, often dashing from one place to another and juggling family and friends, work, school runs and more.
So, it’s understandable that thinking about fire safety can get lost along the way and isn’t at the top of your priority list. But you might be surprised to learn that the majority of home fires are preventable, so it is really important to follow fire safety rules at home.
We’d strongly recommend taking some time to sit down with your family, including the children and think about how you can reduce the risk of fire and talk about what to do and how to escape should a fire break out. Five or ten minutes every few months could literally save your life or the lives of those you love. Things to consider include what your escape routes might be and how useable they are, for example if your windows are locked check that the keys are easily accessible.
Many people aren’t aware that cooking appliances are the most common cause of fires at home, followed by faulty appliances and leads. So, take special care with your cooker ensuring that grease and fat is not allowed to build up, especially in the grill which may catch fire. Don’t dry tea towels near or on the cooker, make sure you turn it off completely when you have finished cooking. Take care that small children are not left alone in the kitchen with access to buttons and switches. We’d also advise making sure that leads from other electrical items such as toasters & kettles are kept at a safe distance.
As you know from news stories we’ve highlighted before, appliances such as washing machines and tumble driers may catch fire if they are faulty. If you are concerned about these items, for example if they are getting unusually hot when in use, or anything looks unsafe it is important to get them checked. We’d also advise against running them overnight or when the house may be empty during the day in case a fire should break out.
Check that your smoke alarms are in good working order once a week and consider whether you have enough in your home. Smoke alarms are your early warning system should a fire start, one on each floor of your home is the absolute minimum, ideally you should have one in each room except bathrooms.
It is also worth closing internal doors both at night and if you are heading out for the day – this will help to prevent a fire spreading. Finally, be aware of soft furnishings such as curtains and throws and be sure to keep any naked flames such as candles and portable heaters at a safe distance.
If you need any help or advice around fire safety please get in touch.