To prevent a fire in your home, there are a number of inexpensive precautions that you can take that could save the lives of you and your family. It is worth looking at each room of your home and considering what precautions could be put in place.
Top tips to consider
Take extra care in the kitchen (especially when cooking with hot oil). Accidents while cooking account for over half of all fires in the home.
Never leave young children alone in the kitchen.
Keep your cooker clear of flammable objects, such as cloths, oven gloves and curtains.
Make sure cigarettes are stubbed out properly and thrown away carefully.
Never smoke in bed.
Never leave lit candles in rooms that nobody is in, or where children are on their own.
Is your upholstered furniture fire-resistant? If it was made before 1988, it won’t be, meaning it can catch light easily and could produce clouds of poisonous smoke.
Don’t overload electrical sockets – try to keep one plug per socket.
Where possible do not use sockets under beds.
Close inside doors overnight.
Never dry clothes near to heaters or cookers.
Make sure all fires are guarded, especially if you have children.
Never prop fire doors open or interfere with self-closing mechanisms of any internal doors.
Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
Never use water on a fire involving electrical equipment, fat, oil or spirits.
Never use a lift in the event of fire.
Consider keeping a fire blanket in the kitchen.
Get a Smoke Alarm.
If you already have smoke alarms make sure they are working, free from dust and test it every week and change the batteries twice a year where necessary.
Plan your Escape
Don’t tackle fires yourself – get out and stay out and call 999.
You should talk to everyone in your home about how you will get out if there is a fire. Make an escape plan for the house and put a reminder of what to do somewhere it is easily and regularly seen – on the fridge door, for example.
You can get free advice from your local fire service.
Keep Exits Clear
Make it a habit to keep the exits from your home clear, so that people can escape if there is a fire.
If you live in a flat make sure communal areas and fire exits are clear – if your neighbours leave obstacles in the way let us know and we will take appropriate action.
Make sure you know where keys to windows and doors are and that they can be unlocked in a hurry if the need arises.
If fire breaks out in your home:
Leave the room where the fire is straight away, and then close the door.
Tell everyone in your home and get them to leave. Close the front door of your flat behind you.
Do not stay behind to put the fire out.
Call the fire service on 999.
Wait outside, away from the building.
If you see or hear of a fire in another part of your block of flats:
The building is designed to contain a fire in the flat where it starts. This means it will usually be safe for you to stay in your own flat if the fire is elsewhere.
You must leave immediately if smoke or heat affects your home, or if you are told to by the fire service.
Fire Safety is the combination of measures to ensure all our residents and buildings are provided with sufficient protection from the risks of fire. This includes measures to:
Reduce the risk of fire on a premises
Reduce the risk of the spread of fire on a premises
Provide a means of escape that can be safely and effectively used at all times
Provide means for fighting fires on a premises
Detect fires on a premises
Give warning in case of fire on a premises
Make arrangements for action to be taken in the event of a fire on a premises (instruction and training)
Obstruction free (sterile) communal areas
All fire escape routes (usually the main communal corridors in a property) must be kept free from any obstructions, slip or trip hazards and combustible materials.
Residents must ensure possessions are removed and must co-operate with us to keep areas free from obstruction and follow health and safety advice.
Residents with mobility scooters stored in communal areas will so far as reasonably practicable and ‘without prejudice’ be helped to find alternative arrangements for the storage of their equipment.
Residents will be asked to remove unauthorised items in a communal area on issue of a removal notice. After 48 hours of notice, these items will be removed and stored for 14 days. A £10 collection charge will be incurred.
Examples of obstructions:
Items stored on the floor eg. shoes
Flammable substances eg. aerosols/ gas canisters
This list is not exhaustive…stay safe, keep communal areas clear.