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Reducing the risk of fire in the home

Some common fire hazards in the home include:

  • candles
  • unattended cooking
  • covered electrical heaters
  • overloaded plugs
  • faulty electrical appliances
  • washing machines and tumble dryers
  • cigarettes and e-cigs

Reducing the risks of fire

You should have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home, and check it regularly (once a month is recommended) to ensure it’s working – this only takes a few seconds to do. Just press the ‘test’ button, if it beeps then it is working. If the alarm doesn’t beep after you’ve pressed the button, replace the batteries and test again or, if it is a sealed alarm, replace the whole alarm.

Other things you can do:

  • do not leave cooking unattended
  • store heated appliances safely, such as hair straighteners, making sure they are turned off before unplugging them and storing them away
  • avoid running washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers overnight in case of an electrical fault
  • store matches, lighters and lighter fluid away from the view and reach of children at all times
  • don’t smoke in your home – for help to quit smoking, click here (link).
  • don’t overload your electrical sockets and extension leads; here is a free guide to socket safety

It might help to follow a nightly routine before going to bed, ensuring appliances are switched off and any naked flames are fully extinguished.

If you have a fireplace surround, ensure it has been fitted by a professional. Unstable fire surrounds can topple and cause injury or death due to their weight.

Take a look at our advice around reducing the risks of accidental burns in children here.

Ensure you know your escape routes in the event of a fire, and make sure hallways and doors are free from clutter or mess so that you don’t trip up if you need to leave quickly. Take a moment to consider your surroundings if staying away from home too.

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Page last reviewed: 25-11-2021

Next review due: 25-11-2024