You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.
Dead or missing batteries in home smoke alarms result in 18 people dying each year.
Cooking accidents are the cause of over half of all fires at home.
Candles start 3 home fires every single day.
Fires caused by cigarettes result in 1 death every 3 days.
Faulty electrics (appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) cause approximately 7,000 house fires across the UK each year.
Fire Safety in the Kitchen:
When cooking using the hob, never leave children in the kitchen alone. Always insure that pan handles and hob controls are out of the reach of children when there are in the kitchen. If you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking take pans and pots off the heat and always make sure the cooker is completely off when finished cooking. Make sure to leave cloths and tea towels away from the hob and be extra careful if wearing loose fitting clothing whilst cooking as they can quite easily catch fire.
Make sure to keep electrical appliances and there leads away from any water, make sure appliances like kettles and toasters are kept clean and do not place them near highly flammable things like paper towels or curtains. Regularly clean ovens, grills and hobs as a build up of grease and fat can ignite a fire.
When cooking with hot oil be extra vigilant and never leave unattended. If you see smoke rising from the oil then it is too hot, immediately turn off the heat and leave it plenty time to cool. Thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers are advantageous as they won’t over heat. If a pan catches fire then if it is safe to do so immediately turn off the heat and place a fire blanket over the pan, never pour water over a pan on fire or a pan full of hot oil that starts smoking.
Electrical fire safety:
Check appliances and electrical goods are fitted with the right fuse to help avoid over heating and always check when buying new appliances that they have a European or British safety mark. High powered electrical appliances like tumble driers, Washing machines and microwaves should always have a single plug to themselves and always try and keep one plug per socket for all your electrical appliances if possible. Adapters and extension leads all have a limit to how many amps they can handle so be very wary to not overload, always turn off the power to as many sockets as possible and unplug appliances at night or when leaving home. Always look out for any sign of dangerous wiring, things like black marks around plugs, hot plugs and sockets, flickering lighting and repeated fuse trips at the consumer unit should be checked out by qualified professionals immediately. Never use portable electric heaters for dying clothes and always keep them well clear of furniture and curtains, try and secure them so they do not fall over. Electric blankets should be carefully rolled up so to not damage the internal wiring, always unplug the electric blankets when you get into bed. Check all your furniture for the fire resistant permanent label and replace any that does not carry the label.
Cigarettes and candles:
Cigarettes and candles are both high fire risks and should never be left unattended when lit, cigarettes should be put out using an ash tray and never a bin and make sure they are completely extinguished before leaving the room. Candles should be put out using a snuffer or spoon rather than just blowing them out and never place them near flammable material when lit. Always ensure lit candles are placed in suitable holders and never just balanced on a table or propped up using books or the like. Never smoke in bed and always ensure matches and lighters are keep out of the reach of children at all times.
Keep you and your family safe by making an escape plan now and take 5 minutes to explain the escape plan to everyone living in the house so that everyone is aware and ready if the worst happens and a fire breaks out, don’t leave it too late!. The normal route to and from the house is usually the best escape route also but make sure to plan a second means of escape just in case the first is blocked by fire. Keep window and door keys safe and easily available to anyone wishing to escape, fit thumb turn locks on doors to the outside for easy escape without the need for a key. Make sure all exits are kept clear at all times and review your escape plan if any alterations are carried out to your home.
There are things you can do every single night before you go to bed that can reduce the risk of fire and improve the chances of escape if a fire occurs, these include :
1. Turn all fires and heaters off and put fire guards up and unplug the heaters.
2. Close all the internal doors of the house to help stop the fire progressing.
3. Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances that are not designed to be left on over night.
4. Double check that all cooking appliances are turned off.
5. Do not leave tumble dryers or washing machines on during the night.
6. Double check any cigarettes and candles are completely extinguished.
7. Double check all exits are clear from obstruction.
If a fire starts and your escape routes are blocked then quickly get everyone into the same room preferably with a window and a phone and place bedding or towels around the bottom of the door to help stop smoke entering. Do not waste time trying to rescue valuables or investigate what has caused the fire and do not try to tackle the fire yourself if you can escape instead, leave it to the professionals. If there is smoke then try and keep low where the air is clearer and always check when opening a shut door that the door is not warm, if the door is warm the chances are there is a fire behind it. If your clothes catch fire then do not run around, stop and drop to the floor and roll over, this help stop the spread of the fire and can help extinguish it. If you can then try smothering your clothes with a heavy blanket or coat or shout for someone in the same room to do so for you.