Your home should be peaceful and relaxing, but there are risks of fire. Be prepared for what to do when it happens.
Firescape has crafted this guide on how to practise home fire safety, with information on common sources of home fires, safety and evacuation planning, and handy fire extinguishing products that could make all the difference.
The common causes are an excellent place to start when looking at fire safety and prevention.
With a variety of heat sources in one area, it’s no wonder that close to 60% of all home fires originate in the kitchen. The potential risk increases exponentially in a communal space.
Don’t install smoke alarms in the kitchen. Smoke is common when cooking, which can cause a false alarm that could eventually cause you to ignore the sound if an ignition were to happen.
For the kitchen, we would recommend a heat alarm to identify any dangerous temperature changes. They are widely available online and in hardware stores with easy installation, so there is no need to call an electrician.
Getting the right alarm is pointless if you’re not cooking safely.
First, don’t leave any pots or pans unattended if they’re on heat as it only takes a second for them to go up in flames.
Be mindful of how you use tea towels, aprons, oven mitts or any other cloth material. Flammable materials are often used to make these standard kitchen accessories which can catch on fire quickly when exposed to a flame.
Avoid long, loose-fitting sleeves when cooking for the same reason.
Grease fires can happen quickly, often catching people by surprise- resulting in a panicked reaction of throwing water on the flame. NEVER THROW WATER ON A GREASE FIRE. It will cause it to spread and make matters worse. Keep a sachet of Pan-Safe in your kitchen to extinguish the flame safely and quickly.
Ensure cooking utensils, grills, hobs, and stoves are thoroughly cleaned after each use, as grease build-up can also contribute to a fire.
If you’re using a gas cooker and must light it yourself, use a spark device as they are safer than matches or lighters, and lower THE chance of setting your clothes on fire.
While the kitchen is the most likely place for a fire, that doesn’t mean you should drop the ball in other areas of the house.
Electrical fires make up a large number of home fires and can be one of the most destructive.
A common cause of a domestic fire is overloaded outlets, as too much voltage flowing can ignite.
The best way to prevent this is to check the maximum voltage for any adapters you are using. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that free sockets mean available space; it’s all dependant on the amount of electricity being used, not necessarily the number of devices.
The type of appliance you’re plugging into an extension matter too, as things like air conditioners or heaters should never share power sockets with other appliances or devices.
Another common cause of a home fire is malfunctioning electronic devices that aren’t kept in perfect working order. Check plugs and chargers for frayed edges or exposed wire. Immediately replace any element that shows signs of wear and tear.
Overheating of electronics like mobile phones, printers, PC, tablet, and other personal communication devices are increasingly the cause of home fires.
Never keep a mobile phone in your bed at night and ensure overnight charging is far away from your sleeping area. Turn off equipment if not in use.
Not only will you protect yourself from overheating and fire but it will save money on electric bills.
Ensure wires and various appliances are kept in a safe condition. If anything is damaged, it could contribute to an ignition.
Something to be conscious of is any potential fire hazards that might be littered around your home.
Unused, unorganised clutter or objects are disastrous if left near generators, sockets or adapters especially in lofts or attics.
Ensure that electrically powered items or plugs are checked often, as they could cause combustion in a storage room.
Smokers should always be vigilant about heat sources and combustible material.
It only takes stary ash or embers for a fire to start, so smoke cigarettes outside and stub it out in ashtray far away from anything flammable.
Candles are another common cause of home fires when left unattended. Creating a cosy atmosphere throughout your home may look pretty, but increase the chance of a fire exponentially.
Evacuating a House Fire
Fire evacuation differs depending on whether you are in a house or an apartment complex.
For the former, you should leave the minute you become aware of the fire. Having a detailed plan is a good idea, with alternative options if the blaze blocks a particular exit or room.
Limit exposure to smoke fumes by staying close to the ground. Visibility may be low due to smoke, so it’s crucial to have an idea of where you are going beforehand.
Practice your family evacuation often, including alternate escape routes.
Frightened children can try to hide during a fire, so practice drills to alleviate their fears.
Ensure your escape plan factors in vulnerable people, the elderly or the disabled.
The evacuation protocol is different for high-rise block of flats. First off, if the fire is not inside your apartment, the best course of action is to stay where you are with your doors shut.
If the fire does spread to your flat or you start to see smoke, leave immediately, closing any doors or windows as you go.
Taking possessions with you when exiting a building can slow you down. Therefore, leave coats and bags behind.
Display the designated escape route with clearly-marked exit signs in high traffic areas, and follow the instructions.
Finally, never use the lift in a fire. Stick to the stairs as you could get trapped.
Upgrade Your Home Fire Safety Equipment
When a fire has already spread, alert the emergency services and evacuate immediately.
However, if ignition has started but it hasn’t spread out of control, you can quash it before it gets worse.
Firescape is on hand to help you, with our innovative fire safety product Spray-Safe.
It’s a 335ml Aerosol extinguisher, one of the lightest options available, fitting easily in most kitchen draws and cabinets. It’s a quick and effective way to tackle unexpected fires in your home.
All of Firescape’s patented, eco-friendly formulas are eco-friendly with no toxic residue, and it’s immensely easy to clean up. If you want to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, take your home fire extinguisher game to the next level with Firescape.