Fire safety is critically important. Whether it is in the home you live on or a property you rent or let out, ensuring the safety of you, your family or your tenants should be important to you.
80% of house fires reported in the UK are accidental, meaning usually, you cannot expect, plan or beat a fire happening. The scary thing is, in 2014/15, 31% of property experiencing a fire did not have a single smoke alarm, and further 19% had alarms but they were not operational. When was the last you tested your smoke alarm?
Smoke detectors are now relatively cheap. For the cost of anywhere between £5 to £10 you could give your loved ones a huge chance of survival if the worst happened.
Did you know that only 10% to 20% of people who buy new appliances register them with the manufacturers? Most think it’s a sale pitch. How do you think they let you know if there is a product recall on a fault that could be fire related?! You can register yours here https://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/
The technology we are used to now, and the more advanced it gets means more and more households have numerous appliances plugged in constantly drinking electricity. Appliances account for a large percentage of house fires, as do overloaded sockets and faulty electrics.
Here are some tips to minimise risk and help you escape should the worse happen.
- Fit smoke detectors. Ensure they comply with British standards, make sure you one on every floor of your home. If they are battery operated, change the battery every couple of months. Test them every few weeks to ensure they work.
- Fuse boards and wiring. Try and upgrade your consumer unit (to an RCD unit) if you have an old wired fuse board. Overloads can be common and modern fuses trip instantly.
- Don’t overload sockets, particularly extensions. Make sure any extension you use has separate fuses built in.
- Turn off or unplug all appliances or gadgets that don’t need to be on over night or thought the day when you are not there. T. V’s, computers, electric heaters, phone chargers etc.
- Appliances – make sure they are of a reputable make and wired in properly by certified contractors.
- Don’t leave washing machines or dryers on overnight or when you go out. Also, don’t overload them. If they are making a funny noise, turn if off and get it checked.
- Keep your fuse box clear. Most are placed in store cupboards and it is common for us to store coats and shoes near them. But these things are very combustible!
- Plan an escape route. Whether you live in a flat or a house, make sure everyone living there knows which route is best for escape and where to go if that is blocked.
- Register new appliances when you buy them. Most people think it’s a way for the manufacturers to retain your info and keep hounding you. Yes, you may get some mail, but the critical thing is that they can get hold of you in the event of a product recall.
- Clean your oven regularly. Old food burns!
Be safe, be aware. Nothing is more important than your health and wellbeing.