Fire Safety in the Home:
A house fire must be one of every home owners’ worst nightmares. Sadly, housefires happen fairly regularly – most of which could have been prevented with basic fire safety precautions.
To raise awareness, here are some of the essential fire safety tips and precautions you should know about.
Store your solid fuel correctly:
When storing an excess of solid fuel – extra care should be taken to ensure it does not catch fire accidentally,
Ideally, fuel should be kept outside in a dry container e.g. a coal bunker. This way, your fuel will be preserved dry for ease of use and if a fire occurs, the fuel will be away from the house
If you don’t have the space outside the house, keep your fuel in a cool, dry place like a cellar or coal bin.
Maintain your appliances:
One of the biggest causes of house fires from homes that rely on solid fuels is not taking sufficient care and maintenance of their appliances.
Chimneys that burn solid fuel must be swept regularly to ensure that a build-up of soot does not form. Not only does it stop debris from falling into the living room, a clear chimney also prevents chimney fires that will damage the structure of a house and allow harmful gasses from the fire to escape the room.
We recommend you ensure that your chimney is swept clear every 6-12 months depending on the type of fuel you use.
Need to find a chimney sweep? Take a look at our directory to find a registered master chimney sweep near you.
Get a smoke & carbon monoxide detector:
According to government statistics – you are 4 times more likely to die in a fire if you do not have working smoke alarms in your home. That is a startling statistic, and so many lives can be saved with such a simple piece of equipment.
Smoke detectors are inexpensive – will only require a simple battery change every few years and some fire stations will even provide you and fit a smoke alarm in your home for free!
Top tip: it is best practice to make sure your fire alarm works every month, most devices will have a test button so give it a push every few weeks for peace of mind.
Independent consumer body – Which? Has an in depth review of some of the most reliable detectors available on the market here:
Get the right fire extinguisher:
In the event of a fire, time is of the essence – a fire extinguisher is a fantastic piece of equipment that should be in every home however it will only be effective on the correct type of fire for your extinguisher.
It is important to note that fires are also classified depending on what it is burning. In turn, each type of fire extinguisher is labelled with a distinct coloured label, which can be used to easily identify what kind it is. Almost half of all house fires are caused by cooking accidents, fires involving fats such as cooking oil can have devastating consequences if you use the wrong extinguisher or attempt to put out with water.
It is vital to ensure that if you use a fire extinguisher that you are using is suitable to the emergency, otherwise that fire extinguisher may become a flame thrower. The dry powder (blue label) extinguisher is by far the most versatile however there is no ‘one size fits all’. Your best bet may to own multiple extinguishers and even a fire blanket for the kitchen.