Minimise the risk of burning
A warm home on a cold winter day may conjure up thoughts of safety and security, but the reality is that portable heaters, electric blankets, open fires and radiators all pose a potential fire threat.
Eighty per cent of fire fatalities in New Zealand occur in the home and the Fire Service attends more than 3500 home fires each year.
Winter is a common time for house fires, so fire protection specialist Wormald is urging householders to be extra vigilant.
Wormald managing director Peter Fermor said householders must help minimise risk.
‘‘ Many fatalities due to fire occur when occupants are sleeping and it’s important to remember that while sound can disrupt sleep, scents cannot.
‘‘Working smoke alarms are a crucial line of defence for every home; vital for early detection of a fire and for limiting the damage and cost caused by fire. Smoke alarms can also assist in providing the precious time needed to escape,’’ he said.
‘‘Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire blankets are essential tools for defending a home against a fire.’’
Householders can help minimise the risk of fire in their own home by running through a mental checklist before leaving the house or going to bed.
Ensure heaters are placed at least a metre away from anything that could potentially burn. Be sure to switch off from the appliance as well as on the wall Check smoke alarms monthly Change the batteries yearly and make sure there is a smoke alarm on every floor
Ensure all heating equipment is clean and in proper working order
Inspect electrical cords and replace if cracked or damaged Switch off electric blankets before going to bed Blow out any candles.