Accidental fires remain a serious threat to home owners, tenants and their families. According to statistics published by the HSE, over 200 people die each year as result of a fire in the home. You are four times more likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have a functioning smoke alarm. Fires can spread quickly and with the added danger of smoke inhalation, can kill within minutes. Here are five tips on how to prevent fire in the home.
- Cooking – Fire safety starts in the kitchen. Cooking, particularly with a gas stove, represents the leading cause of home fires. Many such fires occur when someone leaves something on the stove and becomes distracted, therefore, forgetting about it. Ensure that when you are cooking anything, that it has your undivided attention and is never left unattended.
- Heating – The second most common cause of fire in the home is heating. Portable and electric space heaters represent the greatest danger, as sheets or curtains accidentally come into contact with the unit and ignite. Ensure that if you are using a space heater, it is far enough away from any other objects in order to avoid danger. Have your central heating unit inspected regularly and if you use an open fire, ensure that your chimney is regularly inspected and cleaned.
- Smoking – As well as being bad for your health, smoking is the third leading cause of fire in the home. This occurs when smokers lose track of still-smouldering butts, which then come into contact with flammable surfaces such as cushions or sofas. The simplest way to prevent fires is to give up smoking, however, if you are a smoker or have a smoker in your home, ensure that they smoke outside and that any butts are doused with water to prevent a fire from starting.
- Electrical fires – Faulty or defective electrical products are another top cause of home fires, ensure that any frayed power cords are replaced and ensure you are not overloading any electrical sockets.
- Smoke alarm – As stated, you are four times more likely to die in a home fire without a proper functioning smoke alarm. Test your smoke alarm at least once a week in order to prevent a fire from developing and spreading in your home.
Remember, if you’ve been injured in a fire at home or as the result of an accident at work within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to claim work accident compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 for more information.
Date Published: April 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice