While you may think that a fire could never happen in your home, you may be making mistakes that could result in a fire. Fortunately, these mistakes can be avoided, so here are some helpful tips to keep yourself and your home safe from fires.
1. Unplug appliances when they are not in use. Appliances that are left plugged in are vulnerable to unexpected power surges, creating a potential fire hazard that could easily have been avoided. Unplug all your dormant appliances before bed, from your TV to your phone charger, to stay protected against electrical fires.
2. Never leave cooking appliances unattended. Almost 50% of all house fires originate in the kitchen, so it's even more important here to be aware of the dangers involved in cooking with gas or electric hobs. It's incredibly easy to get distracted, either by a phone call or something particularly interesting on television; however, leaving hobs or fryers unwatched for as little as 60 seconds can be enough time for a fire to start and begin spreading. If you must leave your cooking unattended, remove it from the heat source first and be sure to turn the cooker or hob off once you are finished.
3. Do not attempt to fight fires by yourself. Different types of fires require different tools to combat and are seldom rectified by simply throwing some water on top. In fact, throwing water over pan fires (i.e. those using oil) is extremely dangerous and causes the fire to spread much more quickly. In the event of a fire in your home, evacuate immediately, closing all doors behind you to stop the fire spreading, and call the fire service right away.
4. Avoid overloading power sockets. It can be tempting to plug in a variety of socket extensions, giving you more power outlets for your technology; however, it is easy to overload your sockets if you are not mindful of the limitations of your equipment.
5. Plan a fire evacuation route in your home. Fire drills should not be saved for your workplace or your school, but they should also be considered for your home life, too. Have a clear plan in place in the event of a fire, and always keep keys to locked windows and doors in an easily accessible spot, just in case.
6. Monitor open flames at all times. If you are using candles, always keep them in a holder and keep them away from curtains or other flammable objects. Cigarettes present a similar risk, with a large number of bedroom fires beginning with smokers falling asleep whilst holding a lit cigarette. Avoid smoking in bed to stay protected against night time fires.
7. Perform regular checks of your smoke detectors. Finally, in the event that fire prevention does not succeed, ensure that you are adequately warned when the time comes. Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home and tested once a week. Follow these tips to greatly increase the fire safety of your home and stay safe!