Keep safe from fire – at every level
AFEW too many celebratory nights out and overindulgence during the festive season mean many of us are spending the cold, dark winter evenings at home in the new year. But those domestic treats to cheer us – the heater turned up to ‘max’, candles giving a soft glow and perhaps some chips cooking in the kitchen – can bring greater risks of fire in the home.
That’s why the Fire Kills campaign together with fire and rescue services around the country is asking you and your household to take extra care and is recommending a few simple steps to keep everyone safe. These simple steps save lives.
More than nine out of ten homes now have at least one smoke alarm installed. But fire can break out anywhere in the home. To make sure that any smoke does set off your smoke alarms, install at least one on every level of your home and especially close to where you sleep.
If you test them at least monthly you can be confident that they are all working properly – both the power supply and the detection mechanism. Then you can be sure that you and your household will have the earliest possible warning of danger should a fire break out.
Last year 213 people died in fires in their home. The most common reason why smoke alarms didn’t go off was because smoke did not reach the detector. Another reason was that the batteries were flat or missing. Working smoke alarms on every level really can save lives.
Once you know fire has started in your home, get out, stay out and call ‘999’. But how are you going to get out? That is the next simple step we are urging you to think about now – your escape routes. The best one is your normal way in and out of your home. Then you need a good back-up plan in case the fire is blocking that route.
Make sure all your routes are always clear of blockages you can control, like boxes and toys, and everyone knows where door and window keys are kept. A household planning session and practice run can be a life-saver for everyone – especially those who might need extra help with some routes or are a little slower.
Most people overestimate their ability to escape a fire – often not realising the deadly effect of smoke. Surveys suggest that around 70 per cent of older people fall into this group but, sadly, over half of the people who died in recent domestic fires in England were aged 65 and over.
Don’t risk tragedy in a fire in your home, follow these three simple steps:
Install a smoke alarm on every level and near sleeping areas
Test them at least monthly to make sure they are all working
Plan and practise your escape routes and keep them clear.
For more information and fire safety advice, visit www.gov.uk/firekills at www.facebook.com/firekills or follow us on Twitter @Fire_Kills.
n GOOD ADVICE: Following some simple tips could save your life