The thought of fire breaking out in your home is a scary one. It’s also statistically very unlikely to happen, but nevertheless it’s not impossible. But fear not, as there are plenty of steps you can take in order to minimise the risk of fire within your home.
- Smoke detectors. You should test the batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a month. Set yourself a reminder to do it, say, on the first of every month. It takes seconds, and could potentially save your life. Replace any dead batteries immediately.
- Fire extinguishers. Having a well maintained extinguisher on hand in the event of a fire could be the difference between a small amount of smoke damage and the devastating loss of your home. Your fire safety provider will advise you about the safest and most accessible places to store your extinguishers.
- Heating maintenance. You should have your boiler serviced regularly, at least once a year. By regular servicing, you’ll avoid too much build-up of dust and dirt within the appliance which could be a fire hazard. If you use electric heaters make sure that they’re placed well away from anything that could catch fire.
- Naked flames. Candles are the cause of a large percentage of house fires and most of these could be avoided if they weren’t left unattended. If you have an open fire, always use a fire guard to avoid burning embers falling from the grate, or being ‘spat’ out. Ensure you have your chimney swept regularly to avoid soot from building up – this could ignite and cause a chimney fire.
- Close your doors. Fires will be unable to spread as quickly if the internal doors in your house are closed. This could save your life, particularly at night time! More often than not, smoke will take victims before flames do, so every second counts.
- Kitchen appliances. Most house fires start in the kitchen. Hot pans can combust if they contain any kind of cooking fat. Keep hobs clear of any debris, and never leave tea towels or cloths on them. If you should have a pan fire, NEVER douse in water; a damp tea towel laid over the top will starve the fire of oxygen, and will be extinguished relatively quickly. Ideally you should never leave your hob unattended whilst cooking.
- Washing machines and tumble dryers. Clean the filters of your washing machine and tumble dryer regularly to avoid fluff and lint from building up. Most fires that start in tumble dryers result from poor maintenance.
- Electric cables. Deal with any frayed cables immediately as bare wires are not only dangerous to anyone who touches them, but are also a fire hazard. Be sure to unplug any phone chargers that are not in use, and also any appliances that start to feel warm to the touch at the power source.
- Storage. There are so many products we use throughout the house that are flammable, eg cleaning disinfectants, perfumes and sprays, and it’s vitally important to store them safely. A cupboard away from any heat sources and exposure to sunlight is ideal.
For any advice on fire prevention and protection, Swift Fire & Safety can help. You can contact us by calling 01733 602955 or by clicking this link.