According to Red Cross figures, over 50,000 house fires cause an average of 11,000 injuries and 350 deaths every year. Most fires can be prevented by taking a few simple steps to minimise risk of a house fire.
How to minimise risk of a house fire
Minimise risk of a house fire by:
- Fitting and regularly maintaining at least one smoke alarm on every floor
- Planning, practising and always keeping your escape route clear
- Ensuring door and/or window keys can be located quickly
In the kitchen
Taking extra care while cooking, especially when deep fat frying, never leaving pans unattended, and avoiding cooking after alcohol consumption, all help to prevent fires in the kitchen. In addition you should keep:
- Appliances clean, in good working order and away from curtains and other flammable materials
- Cloths, towels and loose clothing away from hobs
- Pan handles and matches out of children’s reach
Never placing metal objects into your microwave and keeping a close eye on children is equally important, as is ensuring that your cooker is off once you are finished.
Prevent injury by electrical fires by always:
- Purchasing appliances with British/European safety marks
- Keeping appliances in good working order
- Using the correct fuses to prevent overheating
- Checking for signs of danger, including flickering lights, scorch marks, loose or damaged wiring, hot plugs and sockets, and immediately changing faulty plugs or frayed or damaged leads
- Unplugging appliances not in use and at night
Never overloading sockets also helps to prevent injuries by electrical fires, as will keeping electric blankets stored flat, loosely folded or rolled, and turning them off during the night.
You can further prevent fires by:
- Ensuring all your furniture has a fire resistant permanent label
- Keeping a close eye on candles and extinguishing them when leaving the room and, of course, at night
- Securing portable heaters against falling over and keeping them away from furniture and furnishings
Finally, never smoke in bed, make sure stubs are put out properly and use a proper ashtray that cannot fall over.
Home owners and landlords are legally required to take all necessary steps to minimise risk of a house fire; injuries by slips, trips and falls and other accidents on their premises.
If you were injured because such steps were not taken, you could qualify for personal injury compensation. Contact us, Accident Advice Helpline, today on 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from a landline, for more information on claiming for compensation.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice