Waking up to smoke and flames is possibly one of the worst things that can happen to your family and home. From April 2018 to March 2019, over 30,000 fires occurred in homes and other buildings in England, resulting in millions of pounds of damage. The worst thing of all is that the majority of these fires could have been prevented with adequate fire safety measures. Families, homes and business can be kept safe when proper precautions are put in place, such as creating a fire escape plan and ensuring your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Here we list the top fire safety tips to help prevent fires from happening and to limit their effects if and when they do occur.
1. Get a smoke alarm
Smoke alarms are one of the most important ways to protect your home and business from the risk of fire. At the very least, it will alert you of a fire before it gets out of control, giving you enough time to get out of the building and contact the fire service. There are several important things to remember when it comes to smoke alarms. These are:
- Have at least one alarm on every floor of your home or business
- Test that it is working every month
- Never disconnect or take the batteries out
- Replace the batteries annually
- If you’re hard of hearing, install a strobe light or vibrating pad alarm
- Only buy reputable smoke alarms that feature the LPCB logo or kite mark
2. Be conscious when you are cooking
Despite cooking being a regular daily routine for most households, it is still a fire hazard, accounting for 48% of accidental dwelling fires. So, to help prevent fires from cooking here’s what to do and what not to do:
- Keep your oven and hob clean at all times – build-ups of grease and fast can trigger a fire
- Keep your toaster clean for the same reason
- Keep plugs and electric leads away from water
- If fat that you’re cooking with begins to smoke, immediately remove them from the heat – fat can easily set alight
- Leave pots and pans unattended
- Pour water onto hot fat
- Leave flammable materials near a lit hob
- Leave children unattended in the kitchen or near appliances
- Leave saucepan handle sticking out where they might get knocked over
3. Be mindful of electrics
Nearly 25% of all fires caused in England during April 2018 to March 2019 were caused as a result of electrical distribution and appliances and therefore should be one of the main focuses when it comes to preventing fires in your home and business. Here are a few things to consider:
- Ensure all electrical changes conducted in your home and business are performed by a qualified electrician.
- Check all electrical cords regularly, ensuring no cords run across doorways and carpets where they could be damaged.
- Limit the number of plugs you have in an electrical outlet or power strip.
- Only use lightbulbs that match the recommended wattage for each lamp.
4. Keep an eye on candles
Candles cause at least two house fires a day in the UK. So being mindful about how many candles are lit and where they are placed in your home is important. Here’s how to stop your candles from becoming a fire hazard:
- Keep candles away from curtains, shelves and other flammable materials.
- Always burn candles in a secure holder.
- Never leave children or pets alone when candles are lit.
- Blow out candles fully before you leave the room.
5. Create a fire escape plan
Fires in the home can spread in minutes, therefore every second counts. Have a plan in place whereby you and your family know what to do when a fire occurs is crucial to yours and your family’s safety. Everyone should know who to call in the case of an emergency, as well as knowing what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear one. You should also establish and practice an escape plan, especially if you have small children. Here are some tips for creating an effective plan:
- Draw a floor plan of your home that shows all doors and windows.
- Show and discuss the plan with all members of your family.
- Identify at least two ways out of every room, if possible. This could be through either windows or doors.
- Once outside, everyone should meet at an agreed-upon place that’s a safe distance from the house.
These tips can also apply to businesses and their staff members.
By following the five tips outlined above, you can make incredible strides to ensuring your home and business not only prevents damaging fires but can limit their effects if they occur. Here at IDS Security Systems, we supply high-quality fire alarm systems that can help detect when a fire occurs, potentially saving you, your family and your employees. Click below to learn more!
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If you would like to learn more about our range of fire alarm systems, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the IDS team today!