7 Fire Safety Tips To Follow For A Safer Home
Keeping yourself and family safe in the event of a home fire is the most important thing, but losing your home and all your belongings can leave you in a very tough position. The Manchester Fire Brigade has released seven helpful tips to reduce the likelihood of a home fire starting or spreading.
1. Take Care When Using Candles
Although candles may make your home look and smell nice, they pose a serious threat. Not only are these one of the five most common fire starters in the UK but the smoke coming off them when they’ve been burning too long is also hazardous to your health. Thick black smoke is never a good sign so if you’re candles start to emit this smoke, extinguish them immediately to prevent the soot getting stuck in your nose and airways.
Something as simple as a breeze blowing a curtain onto the candle flame, a pet knocking the candle over, or a Christmas card falling on top of the candle – all of which the fire brigade have seen – could prove fatal. They would suggest buying electronic candles with fake flickering flames or diffusers to replace standard candles.
2. Don’t Overload Electrical Sockets
Did you know that electronics are a main cause for house fires? These days everyone has phones, tablets, TV’s, laptops and dozens of other devices that need plugging in or charging. However, this can be hazardous as overloading sockets could cause a fire to start. Wall adapters are a prime culprit in causing house fires, so if you or your kids have thousands of things plugged into the wall adapter – think again.
Cube adapters are a particular problem, they may or may not be fitted with a fuse and there may be a risk of overloading or tipping out of the socket. The fire brigade would always recommend you use a strip adaptor and remove any unnecessary plugs when they aren’t being used.
3. Stay at Home When Your Washing Machine Is In Use
Washing machines are fitted in most homes, however this is one appliance that could end up causing a house fire. That’s because they use high voltage and there’s a lot of movement inside, so the risk of a fire breaking out is relatively high.
Ensure the door to your washing room or wherever the washing machine and dryer are kept, is closed when in use. This will prevent the fire spreading throughout the whole house as quickly as it would should the door be open.
4. Check Your Kitchen
Make sure you always switch off all appliances at the wall before going to bed to make sure that nothing could have accidentally been left on. You should also keep your cooker and grill pan free of oil as that could go up in flames in seconds.
The fire brigade suggest that if you are still using a chip pan, to switch to an air fryer. These are less likely to cause fires and actually produce healthier food – it’s a win, win.
5. Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Regularly check your smoke alarm in the home, the fire brigade have announced that this should actually be done once a week!
Ensuring you repeatedly check the fire and carbon monoxide alarm will help to make sure that if something were to set alight in your home or carbon monoxide was leaking from anywhere, you aren’t left in the dark, the alarms will alert you.
6. Pay Attention When Stubbing Out Cigarettes
Smoking in the house can end up causing a disaster if your cigarette hasn’t been properly put out. Tobacco is designed to keep burning so make sure it is properly extinguished. Take extra care when lighting when drunk or drowsy and keep lighters and matches away from children’s reach.
Invest in a lighter with a child’s lock on it so that even if they do manage to get hold of it, nothing could happen. The last piece of advice from the fire brigade regarding smoking would be not to smoke in bed. This can cause fires if lit ash falls onto the bed burning through the sheets.
7. Set Out An Evacuation Plan For Your Home
It is not possible to foresee events such as these and not always possible to prevent them from occurring. So you should make sure that, on top of following all the other tips outlined in this article, you and your family have an evacuation plan.
The most important thing is getting your loved ones out of the building safely and as quickly as possible. Where it is possible, map routes and exits for members of the family to take to get out in case of fire. Items can be replaced, but losing a loved one is much more painful than losing a possession.
Keeping your valuables safe in the event of a fire
We would recommend having a fire-resistant safe installed into your home, this way, if the worst were to happen some of your most valued and important possessions could be saved.
Keeping documents and copies of family photos on disks locked in a safe will ensure that you won’t be left without anything if the event occurred.
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