How do I prevent fire in my home?

How do I prevent fire in my home?

Fire Safety in your home is very important and we want you to be safe from the risk of fire in your home.

If you can smell or see smoke, call 999 immediately.

Chip Pan – Fire Risk & Safety Advice

Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental dwelling fires attended by the fire and rescue service in the UK each year. Nearly 20 people are killed or injured every day in accidental fires that start in their kitchen, the most common of these caused by deep fat frying.

Given the considerable fire risk we no longer support the use of chip pans by customers.

Barbecue – Fire Risk & Safety Advice

Barbecues present a significant fire risk and a risk to personal safety. Balconies on blocks of flats may seem an ideal place to relax during the summer but under no circumstances should they be used for barbecues due to the risk of falling embers, compounded by stronger wind speeds at height.

Top 10 barbecue safety tips:

While barbecues should never be used on balconies on blocks of flats, they can be used safely in outdoor garden areas, provided these rules are followed:

  1. Ensure the barbecue is strong, sturdy and in good working order
  2. Place it on level ground to avoid it tipping over
  3. Keep it well clear of any trees, shrubs, or flammable objects
  4. Keep children and animals well away
  5. Never pour on petrol or other accelerants
  6. For charcoal barbecues, only use the minimum fuel necessary
  7. For gas barbecues, ensure the tap is turned off before changing the cylinder
  8. Never leave the barbecue unattended
  9. Keep a bucket of water or sand close by
  10. Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it

Candles – Fire Risk & Safety Advice

Candles mark special occasions and create a special atmosphere however they also bring fire into your home so need to be treated carefully.

The Do’s and Don’ts

  • Always put candles on a heat resistant surface. Be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic. TVs are not fire-resistant objects
  • Candles need to be held firmly upright by stable holders so they don’t fall over.
  • Position them away from curtains. Don’t put candles near curtains or other fabrics – or furniture. And keep them out of draughts
  • Don’t put them under shelves. It’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of heat above a burning candle. If you put it under a shelf or other surface then it can burn the surface. Make sure there’s at least three feet (one metre) between a candle and any surface above it
  • Keep clothes and hair away. If there’s any chance you could lean across a candle and forget it’s there, put it somewhere else. You don’t want to set fire to your clothes or your hair
  • Keep children and pets away. Candles should be out of reach of children and pets
  • Keep candles apart. Leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles
  • Take care with votive or scented candles. These kinds of candles turn to liquid to release their fragrance, so put them in a glass or metal holder
  • Don’t move them when they’re burning. Extinguish candles before moving them. Also, don’t let anything fall into the hot wax like match sticks
  • Don’t leave them burning. Extinguish candles before you leave a room. Never go to sleep with a candle still burning. And never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child’s bedroom
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. It’s safer than blowing them, which can send sparks and hot wax flying
  • Double check they’re out. Candles that have been put out can go on smouldering and start a fire. Make sure they’re completely out.

Polystyrene tiles

We actively discourage the use of polystyrene tiles in our homes because older types of these tiles can give off poisonous fumes if they catch fire and may spread fire quickly to other parts of the property.

Because we cannot tell whether polystyrene tiles in our homes are the old, potentially dangerous or the new safer variety, we always remove them before re-letting a home. Do not put up polystyrene tiles in your home without contacting us first.

Furniture

Ensure that your furniture has the fire resistant permanent label.

How to prevent common kitchen fires

Do:

  • Keep matches and saucepan handles out of children’s reach and do not let saucepan handles stick out from the cooker where they could be easily knocked off
  • Take the pans off the heat or turn down the heat under the pans if you have to leave the kitchen whilst cooking
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker
  • Use spark devices rather than matches or lighters to light gas cookers because they do not have a naked flame
  • Double check the cooker is off when you have finished cooking
  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water
  • Keep your cooker clean and free from fat and grease
  • Use a thermostat controlled electric deep-fat fryer, which cannot overheat rather than hot oil in a saucepan which can easily overheat and catch fire
  • Keep toasters clean and away from curtains and kitchen rolls
  • Keep oil to below one third of the height of the pan if you do use a saucepan, and make sure food is dry before placing it in the hot oil – it could splash and spit hot oil on you
  • Turn off the heat and leave the oil to cool down if it starts to smoke.

Do not:

  • Leave children in the kitchen on their own when you are cooking
  • Wear loose clothing when cooking as it could easily catch fire
  • Put anything metal in the microwave
  • Take any risks, if oil in a pan catches fire, turn off the heat if it is safe to do so
  • Try to put an oil pan fire out with water as it could just lead to the burning oil exploding over you and the kitchen
  • Take a burning saucepan outside as oxygen will feed the fire and make it worse

How to prevent common electrical fires

Do:

  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent your plug overheating
  • Make sure your electrical appliances have the British or European safety mark
  • Use one plug per socket rather than using adaptors or extension leads. High powered appliances such as washing machines should always have a single plug and plug socket to themselves
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order to prevent them causing a fire
  • Look for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, flickering lights, fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reason
  • Replace any old cables and leads
  • Unplug appliances that you are not using
  • Unplug electric blankets before going to bed if they do not have a thermostatic control for safe all night use
  • Try to secure portable heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over
  • Keep portable heaters away from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes
  • Replace electric blankets immediately if they show wear and tear.

Do not:

  • Overload an extension lead or adaptor – check its limit e.g. an extension’s limit may be 13 amp so you would not want to put 4 x 5 amp appliances, as this adds up to 20 amps
  • Leave electric blankets folded as this damages the internal wiring, store them flat or rolled up instead
  • Buy second hand electric blankets.

Planning a safe escape

Preparing and practising an escape plan will help to ensure that you and your family can escape safely if there is a fire.

Do:

  • Make sure everyone in your home knows where the door and window keys are kept
  •  Make sure exits are kept clear
  • Identify a quick and easy route out of your home
  • Think of another route in case the first one is blocked
  • Make sure everyone living with you knows what to do in a fire

For a free Home Fire Safety Check: visit www.glosfire.gov.uk or call 01452 888777

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