An important feature to keep in mind when it comes to home safety is fire safety. A fire breakout not only destroys furniture, paintwork, and appliances but also causes harm due to smoke inhalation, burnt injury or death. Following a few simple rules as mentioned below can keep your home safe.
As most domestic fire twitches from the living room, bedroom and kitchen, it is important to check fire damages and repair them on regular intervals for your home.
- Open Fires: A fireguard or a suitable fitting spark guard must be placed in before the open fire. Nothing should be placed on a fireguard, especially flammable items. Remember to cover the fireplace with the fireguard or spark-guard every night.
- Chimney Cleaning: Chimneys are very important when it comes to fire safety. Regular cleaning is advisable. Oil-fires must be cleaned yearly, gas-fires must be cleaned yearly along with sweeping, solid fuel fires should be cleaned annually if using smokeless fuel or twice a year when used with coal. A professional inspection and chimney sweeping are always better and safe for your home.
- Portable Heaters and Candles: Use portable heaters and candles carefully; keep them away from any inflammable items, furniture or curtains. They must not be moved while in use and should be plugged out or blown out completely before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Smoking: Never smoke while in bed or on a couch. Usage of ashtrays while smoking is strongly recommended and the contents in the ashtray must be completely dowsed. Since smoking is a real threat to fire hazards, it is not recommended to smoke while feeling drowsy due to alcohol or sedatives.
Electric Blanket: Electric blankets should also be checked on regular intervals for damages like scorch marks, frayed flex or loose connections. Additionally, ensure to unplug the electric blanket while not in use and roll them when stored instead of folding.
Fire blankets and fire extinguishers are two essentials to keep handy in the kitchen.
Cookers: All cookers should be kept clean as greasy cookers run risks of fire hazards. Cookers should not be used to dry clothing. The fitters in extractor fans need a thorough cleaning. Ensure to switch them off every night. Chip pans are hazardous and should be avoided.
Electrical Appliances: Electrical appliances require careful usage and proper storing when
not being used. Ensure not to overload the sockets to avoid fire hazards. Check to keep electric cables away from cookers. When not being used, appliances require to be switched off and plugged out of the socket. Call in a certified electrician to get the cables and plugs checked regularly for signs of wear and tear, fraying or damage.
Smoke Alarms: Smoke alarms need to be installed immediately if you have not already and test them at regular intervals. At least two smoke alarms should be installed in each home.
Smoke alarms must be replaced after completion of their lifespan. To avoid dust clogging that can cause malfunction of the alarm, wipe the slots and casing and vacuum the alarm daily. Remember to switch off the mains before cleaning, then switch back on once the process is completed.
Fire Escape Plan
- Call your state emergency number for fire brigade or ambulance in an emergency situation.
- In case of a fire hazard, a backup fire exit plan must be in place and fire-drills should be practiced.
- When fire spreads out, try to use only the fire exit door to escape out of the place.
- Crawl on the floor to avoid smoke inhalation.
- Buzz out the fire alarm to alert everyone around.
- Wait outside till the arrival of the fire brigade and enter the premises once the property is declared safe by the fire brigade professional.
- Check all the electric gadgets, boards and fireplace every night.
- Ensure to tun-off all the electrical gadgets not being used, all fires doused, and spark guards positioned in front of the fireplace.
- Keep the fire exit routes clear and door lock keys at hand before going off to sleep.
Last but not the least, apart from the above-mentioned prevention and detection measures, get your house fireplace and chimneys inspected and cleaned on timely intervals by a certified professional to assure complete safety of the house from fire risks and damages.