5 Tips for Fire Safety at Home that Every Family Should Know
Reports show that, on average, 215 people per year lose their lives due to house fires in the UK. Worryingly, this figure could rise rapidly. Decades ago, families had around 17 minutes to escape – unharmed – from a house fire. But with today’s homes now packed with faster-burning materials, it’s estimated that the escape time could now be down to as little as 3 minutes.
We don’t want to scare you. But we do want to ensure that we’re doing our part to promote the ever-growing importance of fire protection in the home. The good news is that, firstly, house fires are rare. Secondly, there are a number of ways that you can help to reduce the likelihood of an emergency – and keep your family safe should a fire break out. Here are our top 5 fire protection tips that every family should know.
1) Install & test smoke detectors
Fatalities are four times greater in homes without a working smoke alarm. It’s important to make sure you have at least one detector installed on each floor of your home. It’s also important to test devices regularly, and change batteries each year. Some alarms even come with built-in 10-year batteries.
2) Consider sprinklers
Sprinkler systems are not usually found in single-family homes, but all that could be about to change. The Royal Institute of British Architects is fighting to make residential sprinkler installation a legal requirement in all new builds, regardless of height. That’s because they’re so effective at what they do.
3) Take care in the kitchen
There are lots of ways that house fires can break out, but more than half originate in the kitchen. Kitchen fire safety should be an area that all families know about. Best practices can go a long way here. Avoid wearing loose clothing when cooking, and don’t leave cooking appliances unattended when in use.
4) Know your escape route
The best escape route will be the doors you normally use for entering and leaving your home. But it’s important to be clear on alternatives, should this route be blocked by a fire. Discussing escape routes with children is vital, as this can reduce the likelihood of them hiding somewhere during an emergency.
5) Conduct a bedtime check
Try to get into the habit of doing a ‘once over’ of your home each night before bed. Close internal doors to slow down the spread of a fire, and turn off any electrical equipment that’s not needed overnight. Check cooking appliances are switched off, turn off gas fires, extinguish candles, and keep escape routes clear.
Peace of mind
Unsure if you’re doing everything right? Don’t worry. If you live locally in Medway, or other parts of Kent, and you have young children at home, you can arrange for a free Safe & Well visit from the Kent Fire & Rescue Service.
During the 45-minute home visit, a member of your local fire service will check the battery life and positioning of your smoke detectors. They’ll install new ones if needed. They’ll also help you to identify possible fire risks in your property, and discuss your safest escape routes. You can find out more by visiting Kent Fire.
Keep an eye on our blog for more helpful fire protection tips. You can get in touch with us on 01795 713 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about residential sprinkler design and installation.