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Fire safety in your home

A guide to preventing fire and staying safe in your home

Man fitting smoke alarm on a ceiling

According to the UK government website, around 35 people die each year because their smoke alarm doesn't work. Understanding how to check your smoke alarm, as well as some basics about preventing a fire could not only save your home, it could also save your life.

Buy approved smoke alarms for your home

Choosing the right smoke alarm is important. It's easy to check if the alarm you're considering is safe – it should have two marks on it, that look like this:

British Standard Kitemark and LPCB Loss Prevention Certification Board logo

If you're not sure what type of smoke alarm is right for your home, you can always ask for advice at your local fire station.

Depending on the size of your home, you might consider having more than one alarm. For the highest level of fire security, install a smoke detector in every room apart from in the bathroom and kitchen. At the very least, you should have one smoke alarm on the hallway ceiling of each floor of your house.

Check your smoke alarm works

It's easy to check if your smoke alarm is working properly. Simply press the button on the alarm – if it makes a sound, it's working fine. If you press the button and the test alarm doesn't sound, change the batteries in your smoke alarm. Ideally, set a monthly reminder for yourself to check your smoke alarm works.

Set a monthly reminder for yourself

How to prevent common fires at home

We've thought of the top five 'fire starters' in your home.

Cooking - Fires start when your attention stops; never leave your cooking unattended. Be extra careful when cooking with fat – it can easily set on fire. If fat gets too hot and starts to smoke, take it off the heat to cool down. Never pour water onto hot fat.

Plug sockets - Don't overload sockets with multiple plugs. More than one plug in a socket can start a fire, especially if the appliance uses a lot of power, e.g. a washing machine or tumble drier.

Electrical cables - Keep an eye out for scorch marks, split cables, exposed wires and loose connections. If you find any of these, take the plug out of the socket and have the cabling looked at by a qualified electrician.

Candles – Fragranced candles are a lovely way to perfume your home and create a cosy, relaxing ambience. Avoid leaving candles unattended or near flammable things like curtains or paper goods.

Smoking – Every six days, someone dies from a fire started by a cigarette. Don’t leave cigarettes alight and make sure you stub them out properly when you’ve finished smoking.

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