House Fires: What Can You Do To Prevent Them?

8 ways to prevent a house fire

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There are many potential fire hazards around the home, but with a few simple steps, the risk of fire can be drastically reduced. 

1. Check smoke alarms regularly

Smoke alarms are key for a fire-safe home. They should be replaced every 10 years or as soon as damage is spotted. You should test your smoke alarm every month to make sure it is still working and that the batteries do not need to be replaced.

2. Turn off switches

Before you go to bed, have a check to see what’s plugged in and switched on. Things like plug-in air fresheners, laptops, and mobile phone chargers are highly likely to overheat if left on for too long, and this could easily result in a house fire. Take five minutes before you go to bed each night to go around the house and switch off or unplug anything that may be a risk.

3. Take care when smoking

Although waning in popularity, smoking indoors and leaving lit cigarette ends is one of the biggest causes of house fires. It only takes a spark left in an ashtray to send the whole place up in flames.

If possible, try to smoke outside. If you have to smoke indoors, make sure all cigarette butts are unlit before you put them in the bin, so wait a while after you put your cigarette out before cleaning out the ashtray.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t smoke in bed. It is far too easy to fall asleep with a smouldering cigarette next to you. If you knock over the ashtray, it is likely to fall on one of the many fabric items in a bedroom, like your duvet, pillows, curtains or carpet and send it up in flames, with you none the wiser and potentially unable to wake up because of smoke inhalation.

4. Don’t use damaged or faulty electrical equipment

Electrical equipment should be checked on a regular basis to make sure that there are no potentially dangerous flaws that can cause house fires.

Check things like kettles, hoovers and toasters every few months and if you’re not sure about something, call a proper electrician instead of trying to repair it yourself. A broken wire can cause untold damage, so don’t take the risk and put your family’s life in danger.

5. Don’t leave children unattended around naked flames

Children, while lovable, can be a major fire hazard. Forever running around knocking things over, candles and children could equal a burning inferno where your home used to stand.

If you do feel the need to light candles, put them out of reach of little fingers on a flat surface and never leave them unattended. You should also keep the candle wick trimmed to stop the flame from getting too high.

6. Use experts for electrical repair work

If you aren’t an electrician, don’t attempt electrical repair yourself. It may seem obvious, but DIY electrical work is a frequent cause of house fires. It may seem like an easy job to fix that faulty wire on your oven, but you’ll regret it when you get an electrical shock that catapults you backwards through your kitchens.

This may seem unlikely, but it can – and does – happen, and you may not be so lucky. Attach one wire the wrong way, and it could result in a massive fire causing untold damage or injury. Always call in a professional for any job involving electrics.

7. Don’t leave hobs unattended when cooking

We’ve all left a pot on the stove that we think will be safe as we’ve gone to answer the phone or do something in another room, but this is a highly dangerous practice. Even taking your eye off the hob for a second, especially a gas hob, could mean disaster, loss of your home or even injury and death.

Make sure to keep an eye on what you are cooking at all times, do not leave the room and if you do switch off the power, and make sure to keep pot handles turned away from the edge of the counter so any children, or even clumsy adults, don’t knock it over and cause an accident.

8. Install a fire door in key areas around the home

An excellent fire protection method is to install a fire door. Although these may seem unnecessary in the average family home, what price can you put on your loved ones’ safety? A steel fire door installed in every room will significantly lower the chances of any house fires or spreading.

Make sure your fire door is installed correctly by reading Latham’s Steel Doors comprehensive guides on the subject. Our advisors will also be happy to help in selecting the right fire door, so contact us today to keep your family safe and well.

To secure your home against the risk of fire, browse our range of certified Fire Rated Stock Doors.

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