A fire starting at home is the stuff of nightmares for most of us. Especially if we’re all asleep and have no clue what is unfolding. So, what can you do to give you and your family the best chance of escaping, if the very worst should happen? Read on for a few fire safety tips and advice.
Know your escape route
All offices and public buildings have fire safety signs, and emergency exits clearly marked with brightly colored or illuminated signs like the ones available here. However, most homes and domestic dwellings don’t really have them. So, make sure you know your escape routes.
Sit down with the family and discuss where escape points would be at various points in the home and make sure that everyone is aware of them too. Make sure door keys for doors and windows are in safe and secure places that the responsible adults or older children can access with ease. No one wants to be fumbling around for keys in a smoke filled room.
Smoke alarms should be fitted in every level of your home and should be tested regularly to make sure they’re working. Can’t remember the last time you checked your smoke alarm battery? Go and check it right now. It might save your life!
We live in an age of electrical items – many of which need to be charged or are simply plugged in for a lengthy amount of time. Make sure you don’t overload your sockets, as too many sockets overloading an outlet cause a huge amount of heat that could start a fire. Old items with poor or damaged wiring are also a potential fire hazard. So, avoid using these overnight. It’s also recommended that you don’t leave items on standby overnight.
Be safe in the kitchen
Most house fires begin in the kitchen, and with the types of materials and liquids that are around it means that the fire can spread quicker then you might expect. Always take extra care when you’re cooking with hot oil and never leave your children unattended in the kitchen with any part of the cooker/oven on.
If you’re called away from the kitchen while you’re cooking – like for a phone call – then turn down the heat of the cooker while you step out of the room. Or turn the heat off completely. Be careful of your clothing, especially if it’s loose or has long strips of material hanging from it. These can easily alight. If you have long hair – tie it up!
Make sure things like tea towels, dish cloths or oven gloves aren’t hanging over or have been placed near the hob. Keep handles of pots and pans turned AWAY from the edge of the cooker; this ensures that children can’t grab them and no one else can knock them accidentally.
And, keep your stovetop clean! You’d be surprised at how quickly a fire can spread across old food and cooking fat!