Every year in Britain, there are around 35,000 household fires and over 300 fire related deaths.
Yet a few simple and inexpensive measures could help you to protect your family and your home.
Recent figures* show that people are 10 times more likely to die from a fire if they don’t have working smoke alarms. And it’s essential that you have at least one on every floor, so they can alert you as quickly as possible if a fire starts.
Make sure you test them monthly to check they are working.
The government’s Fire Kills campaign, works in close partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and local fire and rescue services (FRSs) to promote fire safety.
These are the steps you should take to keep your family and home safe:
Testing your smoke alarms takes less time than boiling a kettle – so while you’re waiting to make a brew, go and test them by pressing the button!
Set reminders on your phone or smart speaker to remind you to test your smoke alarms each and every month
If any of your smoke alarms have a one-year battery, make sure these are changed every year. Only take the battery out when you need to replace it.
Ten-year sealed battery smoke alarms are the best option. They are slightly more expensive, but they’re cheaper than replacing batteries every year.
If you’re renting, check to make sure your landlords are abiding by the guidance.
Check how fire safe your home is
The Fire Kills campaign has an easy-to-follow home fire safety tool, that will provide you with fire safety advice tailored to your home. Visit www.ohfsc.co.uk for more information and consider who else may benefit from the tool.
Fire safety tips
Take extra care if you need to leave the kitchen while cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
Keep loose clothing, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
Double check the cooker is off when you’ve finished cooking.
Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order.
Keep to one plug per socket - if you are using an extension lead or adapter, check how many amps it can take and be careful not to overload it.
Look out for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets or flickering lights.
Only use the manufacturer approved battery and charger for portable electrical items, including for e-scooters and e-bikes.
Heaters and electric blankets
Secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over.
Never use heaters to dry clothes and keep them away from materials that could easily catch fire, such as furniture or curtains.
Store electric blankets flat, rolled up or loosely folded. Unplug blankets before you get into bed unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
Don’t leave lit candles unattended - put them out when you leave the room and at night.
Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire.
Stub cigarettes out properly and throw them away carefully – put it out, right out.
Never smoke in bed or anywhere you might fall asleep, such as in a comfortable chair.
In an emergency
Remember, if there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999 - don’t tackle a fire yourself. Leave it to the professionals.
Keep calm and act quickly, get everyone out as soon as possible.
Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables.
If there’s smoke, keep down low where the air is clearer.
Before you open any doors, check if they are warm with the back of your hand. If it is, don’t open it - fire is on the other side.
Call 999 as soon as you’re clear of the building.
*Home Office figures (Source: Gov.uk)