Most fires in the home can be prevented by taking some basic and common-sense precautions. This information can help you check your home for anything that could cause a fire. You can then take the necessary actions to protect your home and the people who live in it.
The easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with a smoke alarm. You may need more than one and should test them regularly to make sure they are working. It could save your life.
Over half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents. There are a number of things you can do to help prevent a fire in your kitchen:
• Take pans off the heat or turn them down if you have to leave the kitchen whilst cooking and make sure you turn the cooker off when you have finished.
• Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing as it can easily catch fire and keep tea towels and cloths away from the hob.
• Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
• Take special care when deep fat frying. If the oil starts to smoke it means it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
Faulty electrics (appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) cause around 7,000 house fires across the country every year. Here are some things to help you avoid an electrical fire:
• Make sure an electrical appliance has a British or European safety mark when you buy it.
• Never overload adaptors with too many plugs.
• Unplug appliances that are not in use, especially heaters and irons.
• Keep a look out for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons, or flickering lights.
• Check and replace any old cables and leads, especially if they are hidden from view – for example, behind furniture or under carpets and mats.
• Never cover heaters with washing.
• Always check that you use the right fuse in plugs and the recommended bulb wattage in light fittings to prevent overheating.
More than five fires a day are started by candles and every three days someone dies from a fire caused by a cigarette. To help avoid a fire never leave burning candles unattended and never leave matches or lighters where children can find them. Make sure your ashtray or candle holder can’t tip over and never smoke when you are in bed!
Be prepared – make a plan!
To ensure you and your family are as prepared as possible in the event of a fire, make an escape plan. Remember you may not be able to use stairs or lifts, so make sure everyone in your home knows what to do.
What if a fire breaks out?
If you live in your own house or the fire is in your own flat
Get everyone out and dial 999 immediately. If possible close doors behind you as this will slow the spread of the fire. Check whether doors are hot and don’t open them if they are. Stay close to the ground and cover your nose and mouth. If you need to break a window and climb out, cover sharp edges and throw out soft things like bedding to cushion your fall.
If you live in a purpose built block of flats and the fire is in another part of the building
It is usually safer to stay put into your property until the emergency services tell you to evacuate. Your property is designed to give you protection until the fire brigade can rescue you.
However, if your flat has smoke or heat or you have any other concerns leave the property, make sure everyone is with you. Do not use lifts if there are any but use the stairs. Go to any meeting point that is listed on your fire safety notice or to any other place of safety. When you are out safe call 999 if the fire brigade are not in attendance to ensure they know to attend.
Visit www.fireservice.co.uk for all the latest advice and fire safety news.
Fire Safety advice from LFB in relation to; Fire in your Building not in your Flat; Stay put
Fire Safety advice from LFB in relation to; Fire in your Flat; Get out