A fire in your home can be devastating, but most domestic fires are preventable. Here are some tips on how to reduce the fire risk in your home.

Kitchen fire safety

Many house fires originate in the kitchen. You can prevent accidents by:

• always turning off your cooker when it’s not in use
• keeping tea towels well away from the cooker and hob
• never leaving hot fat or oil unattended and taking it off the heat immediately if it begins to smoke

Electrical safety

Electrical fires in the home are also quite common. Using the wrong fuse for an appliance can cause it to overheat, as can overloading power sockets with extension plugs. Any items with damaged power cords should not be used until the cabling has been repaired or replaced.

It’s sensible to clear tumble driers of fluff and debris at least once a fortnight. Tumble driers generate a lot of heat and an accumulation of dry fluff can act as tinder, starting a fire.

Tea lights and candles

Although flickering candles and tealights can look lovely, they can also present a serious fire hazard. Always put candles and tealights in holders that don’t allow the flame to be exposed, and keep them well away from curtains and other flammable items. Extinguish all naked flames when you leave a room.

Smoke alarms are essential

You stand much more chance of escaping from a fire if you are alerted to its presence quickly. Smoke alarms should be fitted throughout your home on every floor. You should test your smoke alarms every week to ensure that they are operating correctly. Ask your local fire protection services provider for more advice on the installation and testing of smoke alarms for your property.

It’s also important that you and your family have a clear escape plan for fires that occur during the night when you are all upstairs in bed. Make sure that everyone knows where the keys to window locks are and agree on a meeting place following evacuation. Your fire protection service provided will be able to help you with devising a suitable escape plan.

House fires are all too common, but you can help to keep your home and family protected by following the above tips. For total peace of mind, why not consider having a fire risk assessmentcarried out on your home?

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