ON AVERAGE 25 PEOPLE DIE IN FIRES IN IRELAND EACH YEAR.
FIRES DO NOT ALWAYS HAPPEN TO OTHER PEOPLE.THE NEXT COULD BE IN YOUR HOME!
ACT NOW TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SAFE.
Together We Can STOP Fire
STOP stands for:
- S – is for Smoke alarms. Make sure you have at least one on every level/floor.
- T – is for Test your smoke alarms weekly or ask someone to check it for you.
- O – is for Obvious dangers. Look out for fire risks like overloaded sockets, candles and unattended appliances.
- P – is for Plan your escape route. Keep access routes clear and have your keys at the ready.
A fire can happen anywhere and it’s important to always be prepared for what you would do if you had one in your home. Likewise, it’s just as important to look at all of the ways that you can prevent one from happening in the first place.
You want to know how to prevent fire in your home to protect it and the ones you love. Of course, there are the more obvious things that you can buy to protect your home against fire, such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, having an escape plan, and even fireproof safe deposit boxes to protect your valuables.
The truth is, however, there are some very simple steps that you could be doing to keep yourself safer and, if you start right now, you may be able to prevent a problem before it even happens.
Unplug Items You’re Not Using
Excess electricity flowing through items in your home can always be a potential fire hazard. Things like computers, TVs, game systems and a whole lot more use electricity even when they’re not on. That means they can always experience a surge or they can just overheat and cause a fire.
The continuous electricity that’s flowing into them provides them with a source for a fire as well. By unplugging these items when you’re not using them and, therefore, not paying attention to them, you can cut down on your chances of a fire.
Use Surge Protectors
At the very least, you want to make sure that all of your electronics are plugged into surge protectors. A surge in power is when you are most likely to experience an electrical fire and by plugging items into a surge protector you don’t have to worry about that excess electricity getting to the item and causing a fire.
The surge protector keeps that extra out and can definitely reduce your risk of having a fire in the first place or the strength of it if you do get one.
Never Leave Flames unattended
If you’re cooking, lighting candles, or using any other type of flame or excessive heat, you want to make sure that you’re watching it at all times. If you start cooking anything, you never want to walk away from the stove. If you start a fire in your fireplace you want to make sure you keep an eye on that as well.
Keep Flammable Items Away From Heat
Flammable items like fabrics, paper, and even hair should always be kept away from excessive heat or flame. You want to keep your hair and your clothes out of the way when you’re starting a fire in your fireplace.
Don’t Smoke In the Home
If you do smoke, it’s important to always do so in a well-ventilated area and to completely put out the cigarette before you throw it away.
Put Out The Fire
If you have a fireplace, it’s important to always watch what you’re doing as well. You want to make sure that you put out the fire well before you’re going to leave the area; that way you can watch the fireplace and make sure that the fire doesn’t pop back up.
Turn Off Heated Appliances When You Leave the House
Your dryer and dishwasher use a lot of heat as do space heaters and heated blankets. These are all things that you definitely don’t want to leave running when you’re not home because they could easily catch fire and cause a huge fire that you’re not home to detect.
Fire Escape Plan
A fire escape plan is a plan for what you need to do if there is a fire in your home.
Make the plan with everyone in your home. Practice it regularly.
Put the plan into action when your fire or smoke alarm goes off.
Your fire escape plan should include:
- Keep corridors, halls, doors and windows clear at all times.
- Raise the alarm. Wake everyone up and get everyone out the quickest way.
- Check doors with the back of your hand – don’t open them if they are warm. This means the fire is on the other side.
- Only open the doors that you need to get out of the house.
- If there is smoke, crawl along near to the floor where the air will be cleaner.
- Do not look for the cause of the fire.
- Meet at an assembly point outside your home and make sure everyone is out.
- Call the fire brigade on 112 or 999 from a mobile phone or neighbour’s home.
- Do not go back into your home until the fire brigade tells you it is safe.
As with all heating appliances, your boiler needs to be serviced once a year, as recommended by the manufacturers, to ensure that it is operating efficiently and safely. An efficient boiler is more environmental friendly leading to lower consumption, therefore lowering your bills.
The safety aspect is even more critical as a regularly serviced boiler will operate safely i.e. reducing the risk of emissions of poisonous Carbon Monoxide and / or production of sooth.
Carbon monoxide alarms
Regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys are the best ways to protect you and your family from the danger of carbon monoxide, but for added protection you should install one or more carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
Choosing a carbon monoxide alarm
Make sure the alarm:
- Complies with European Standard EN 50291
- Carries the CE mark and a mark of independent certification (e.g. Kitemark)
- Is marked with an ‘end of life’ indicator
- Is audible; a visual indicator alone is no use if you’re asleep
- Alarms are available in most hardware and DIY stores and even some of the larger supermarkets.
Installing a Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Some registered gas installers will supply and fit carbon monoxide alarms in addition to servicing your appliances. If fitting the alarm yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
More than one alarm may be required to offer full protection. It is recommended that you have an alarm in every room that has a fuel-burning appliance and one within 5 m (16 ft) of every bedroom.
Test your alarm monthly and replace it when it reaches the end of its life.
Remember, a carbon monoxide alarm is not a substitute for a smoke alarm.
Visit www.carbonmonoxide.ie or call 1800 89 89 89 to find out more
For more information on Fire Safety please see https://safetymatters.ie/services/fire-safety/